The unmasking of a groomer

The unmasking of a groomer

Bex Sloane has fought to tell her story.

She was sexually abused at the hands of a groomer and is now warning others so they don't suffer as she did.

She was 14 years old and had finished her first dance class in Whanganui.  She had no idea her teacher Stayz Ruakawa was a sexual predator.

"His number was on a notice that we had got at class and I texted him to say thank you for a great class and I was looking forward to bringing my friends along."

Mr Ruakawa was sentenced last month to three-and-a-half years in jail on four counts of sex with a minor and eight counts of indecency with a 15-year-old girl.

He was a trusted community dance teacher and she, the 14-year-old student.

He targeted her and planned it right under the nose of her parents and friends.

He did what groomers do – instructed, controlled and threatened.

Ms Sloane spoke to Story to warn others and tells us the warning signs.

"It's important for me to stand up and say it's not my shame."

Watch the video for the full Story report.

If you or someone you know needs help, counselling is free.