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Bay Area Ballet Instructor Arrested on Child Molestation Charges

A Bay Area ballet instructor was arrested last week on suspicion of multiple counts of child molestation, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

Viktor Nikolaevich Kabaniaev, 54, was taken into custody Friday at his San Mateo home on a warrant for 16 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 for events that occurred in Contra Costa County, officials said.

"He took advantage of a young female student who is under 14 years of age," Contra Costa County deputy DA Paul Graves said. "It's an unfortunate case. That's a very brave young woman who came forward."

At the time of his arrest, Kabaniaev was working at the Westlake School for the Performing Arts in Daly City. He has been with Westlake for the past eight years.

Parents with kids enrolled at the school are stunned.

"She loves it; the teachers here are great," parent Leah Tostado said. "It's a really good program as far as we know. To hear something like this is shocking. You want your kids to do fun stuff, participate, and then something like this happens. It takes you back to are they safe where they are at."

Previously, Kabaniaev worked at Diablo Ballet in Walnut Creek and Smuin Ballet in San Francisco, officials said.

Anyone with information about the case can call the DA's hotline at 925-256-3541.

NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro contributed to this report.

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