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Terence Green, a former school dance teacher in Cleveland was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for raping six teenage students and sexually abusing two others.
He was an acclaimed teacher who helped launch the careers of many young dancers, including some who performed on Broadway, according to NBC News.
Greene, 57, was also convicted late last month of kidnapping and felonious assault.
“I’m not one to harm anyone,” Greene said during the hearing. “Half of them weren’t even my students. To listen to my life in front of me and see all that has been said. … All I can say is ‘Wow, OK God, what’s next?’ God knows.”
All eight of Greene’s victims were under the age of 18 when these crimes happened, some deciding to speak to Greene directly at his sentencing.
“I stopped dancing because of him. I didn’t even dance anymore like I wanted to,” a victim said.
Judge Kevin Kelley sentenced Green to 365 years in prison.
Prosecutors have said Greene began sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in the late 1990s, soon after he was hired by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The eight victims in the case were ages 14 to 17 when the abuse began, prosecutors said.
Greene resigned from a high school for the arts in 2014 and later began working at Cuyahoga Community College’s dance academy for children, where the abuse continued until 2019, according to prosecutors.
Greene’s attorney, W. Scott Ramsey, said his client still assumes his innocence but is “looking forward to an appeal.”
In 2021, the Cleveland public school district agreed to pay a $3.25 million settlement after eight former students filed a lawsuit accusing the school of failing to investigate past claims of sexual abuse against Greene.
NBC News reports Greene had been found not guilty of sexual battery charges involving a student in 2004 and returned to teaching that year.
Cuyahoga Community College has denied being aware of Greene’s past claims of sexual abuse.
The students’ lawsuit said the school allowed Greene to continue to share hotel rooms with students on school-sanctioned trips.
“You had a lot of responsibilities, a lot of roles and you failed them all,” shared one of Greene’s victims.