Former Boston Ballerina Dusty Button & Husband Accused of Sexually Assaulting Young Dance Students 

Dusty Button was named in an amended complaint filed last week in Nevada

Boston Ballet Dancer Dusty Button
Dusty Button. Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty

A former Boston Ballet star and her husband are accused of sexually abusing several young dance students, including a minor, a new lawsuit alleges.

In July, dance instructor Mitchell "Taylor" Button was accused of exploiting "his position of power and influence in the dance world to sexually abuse young dancers across the country," according to a lawsuit filed in the US District Court in Nevada.

Last week, an updated complaint accused Button's wife Dusty Button — a former star in the prestigious Boston Ballet — of also abusing dancers.

"Young dancers are uniquely susceptible to sexual abuse," the complaint, which was obtained by PEOPLE, states. "Dance training is characterized by physical intimacy and unequal power dynamics between students and teachers, which helps contribute to a pattern of exploitation and silence."

The documents reveal that Taylor Button is accused of grooming and abusing at least five dancers with the help of his wife.

Sage Humphries, one of the dancers who was mentored by the couple and filed the initial complaint, alleged the couple abused her and groomed her by isolating her from her family and friends.

Humphries, a dancer with the Boston Ballet, alleges she was often forced to have sex with Taylor while Dusty held her down.

Another dancer, identified as Jane Doe 100, was a minor when she met the couple, who claimed they could make her "a star," according to the complaint. However, one night the couple invited Jane to a party and gave her drinks.

Afterward, the Buttons allegedly brought Jane back to their apartment and into "a room that had a mattress on the floor and an arsenal of guns hanging on the wall," the complaint states.

Dusty then allegedly held Jane down while Taylor raped her.

Taylor is also accused of abusing several young students at a dance studio in Florida, including one minor to whom he allegedly wrote a love letter to that read: "God sent you to make to make up for my lack of family. I could never love again so much as I love you, where you end and I begin is like a river flowing through. Take my heart, take my soul, I need them no more, if never again they fall upon the one I so adore.

"You're beautiful inside and out, and are going to be so great as you grow. Never forget that no matter what, I'll never love you less than I do today."

One student from the Florida studio, Gina Menichino, alleges Taylor sexually assaulted her underneath a blanket while watching a movie with other students. She was 13 at the time.

"The whole game was to keep him happy," Menichino told the The New York Times in an interview. "Don't get him angry, or I was unworthy and I would lose my dance career."

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The couple's attorney, Marc John Randazza, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

In a motion to dismiss the original case, Randazza wrote the allegations made in the complaint "were written to make the press interested in this case and to enflame the anger of anyone who reads the Complaint."

A judge denied Randazza's motion since it was directed at the original complaint from July, and more accusers have since come forward in the amended complaint.

Fox News, citing Randazza, reports the couple denies the allegations.

"Our position remains the same," Randazza said in an email to the network. "We look forward to clearing both of their names in court."

A spokesperson for the Boston Ballet Company said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE: "Boston Ballet supports Sage Humphries who is bravely coming forward, sharing her experience to protect others, and seeking accountability and justice."

The company did not comment directly on the pending litigation.

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