Director of St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory sentenced to 20 years in indecent assault case
The co-founder and artistic director of the St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory, Serviy Gallardo, pleaded guilty to charges of sexual violence and sexual assault and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to the county clerk’s office by Pinellas.
Gallardo, 52, was arrested in May after police said he had “inappropriately sex with a 15-year-old student”.
Gallardo pleaded guilty on Monday to three counts of sexual violence with family authority or custody involving a minor 12 years of age or older. He also pleaded guilty to one count of obscene or lascivious assault. In addition to his jail time, the court ordered Gallardo to pay a $ 1,510 fine and he will be named as a sexual predator, according to the clerk’s office.
Gallardo founded the conservatory in 2018 with Brian and Anna Melton. The conservatory is located at 1500 58th St. S in Gulfport.
Before founding the conservatory, Gallardo, originally from Venezuela, was principal dancer with the National Ballet of Venezuela and the San Jose Cleveland Ballet. After his stint in these companies, he held several teaching positions in the United States, starting in the early 2000s.
Following Gallardo’s arrest, investigators said they were “concerned that there may be additional victims,” ââand asked anyone with information to speak to authorities. The board of directors of the conservatory indicated to the Time after the arrest of Gallardo who they were cooperating with the investigation and had suspended Gallardo without pay, denying him access to the property. Council members also said that to their knowledge the crimes did not take place on the premises of the conservatory.
“As a board of directors, we are deeply saddened to learn of these allegations, and we strongly believe that allegations of this nature are and should be addressed immediately,” the board said in a statement to the era. âWe take the protection of children and youth seriously and have worked hard to establish policies, procedures and protocols to keep youth safe. We were blinded and heartbroken by these allegations. “