·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

Former Boston Ballet Dancer, Husband Accused of Assaulting Young Girls

— September 30, 2021

The recently-amended complaint, first filed in July, now names former Boston Ballet dancer Dusty Button as a defendant.

A federal lawsuit accuses former professional ballerina Dusty Button and her husband, Mitchell Taylor Button, of sexually abusing several dancers, including an underage girl.

CNN reports that, while Mitchell Taylor Button was named as a defendant in a summer lawsuit, the complaint was recently amended to include his wife.

According to CNN, Dusty Button was a ballerina for the Boston Ballet between 2012 and 2017. Since then, Button has accrued a large Instagram following, with her profile highlighting her international workshops, master classes, and individual dance numbers.

But the lawsuit, first filed in a Nevada District Court in July, claims that Taylor Button “exploited his position of power and influence in the dance world to sexually abuse young dancers across the country.”

After Taylor Button requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, the lawsuit was updated to include his wife as a defendant.

CNN notes that, to date, at least five dancers have accused Taylor Button of abusing them; they further claim that Dusty Button sometimes assisted or participated in the abuse.

A gavel. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Lead plaintiffs Sage Humphries and Gina Menichino, for instance, said that Taylor Button manipulated them and groomed them for sexual abuse.

Menchino, adds CNN, began taking dance lessons from Taylor Button when she was 13 years old. She says he sexually assaulted her twice in 2010, both times when they were sharing a blanket and watching a movie with other dance students.

When Taylor Button traveled out of state, he allegedly continued “to communicate with Gina, including by sending and soliciting sexually explicit photos and videos.”

Humphries, meanwhile, says that, “on multiple occasions,” Dusty Button held Humphries down, without her consent, so that Taylor Button could “penetrate” her.

The lawsuit effectively accuses the Buttons of sex trafficking, because they purportedly enticed Humphries to “cross state lines with the Buttons by using threats, intimidation, and the pretense that they would help further her career and professional development, in exchange for engaging in sex acts.”

Another defendant, says CNN, says she was under-age when the Buttons sexually assaulted her in “a room that had a mattress on the floor and an arsenal of guns hanging on the wall.”

Boston Ballet has since voiced its support for the plaintiff Humphries, a member of the company, but refused media requests to comment on the lawsuit’s specific allegations.

“Boston Ballet supports Sage Humphries who is bravely coming forward, sharing her experience to protect others, and seeking accountability and justice,” Boston Ballet said I a statement.


A former Boston ballerina and her husband have been accused of sexually abusing young dancers, according to a federal lawsuit

Here’s what we know about the sexual assault allegations filed against former Boston Ballet star Dusty Button and her husband

New sexual assault allegations filed against former Boston Ballet star Dusty Button and her husband

Join the conversation!