Boston Ballet dancer accuses husband of former principal dancer of sex assault

Boston Ballet dancer accuses husband of former principal dancer of sex assault
Boston Ballet dancer accuses husband of former principal dancer of sex assault

A Boston Ballet dancer has filed a bombshell lawsuit against her former teacher, accusing him of sexually abusing and assaulting her with the help of his wife, the company's one-time star ballerina.

Sage Humphries and another professional dancer, Gina Menichino, on July 28 filed a civil complaint in US District Court in Nevada, accusing Mitchell Taylor Button of sexually and emotionally abusing the two women years apart.

Button is the husband of Dusty Button, Boston Ballet's former principal dancer who now has a large following on social media.

It is alleged in the explosive complaint that 'the Buttons abuse their positions of power and prestige in the dance community to garner the loyalty and trust of young dancers. The Buttons then exploit those relationships to coerce sexual acts by means of force and fraud.' 

Former Boston Ballet star Dusty Button (left) has been implicated in a federal lawsuit accusing her husband, Mitchell Button (right), of sexually abusing young dancers, including a child

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Former Boston Ballet star Dusty Button (left) has been implicated in a federal lawsuit accusing her husband, Mitchell Button (right), of sexually abusing young dancers, including a child

Sage Humphries

Gina Menichino

Boston Ballet dancer Sage Humphries (left) and professional dancer Gina Menichino (right) together filed the lawsuit against Mitchell Button 

Humphries, now 23, claims Mitchell repeatedly sexually assaulted her in 2017, including with the help of his prima ballerina wife

Humphries, now 23, claims Mitchell repeatedly sexually assaulted her in 2017, including with the help of his prima ballerina wife 

The 19-page federal complaint does not name Dusty as a defendant but as a 'non-party co-conspirator' and implicates her in some of the alleged abuse targeting Humphries.

The lawsuit alleges that on multiple occasions, Dusty held down Humphries so she could not move while her husband violently penetrated the young woman without her consent, including in her sleep.

In one instance, as alleged in the complaint, the Buttons ordered Humphries to don a head-to-toe latex suit, tied her to a table in a room filled with guns and sexually assaulted her as she screamed and cried.  

Through their attorney, the Buttons denied the allegations detailed in the lawsuit, calling them 'false and fraudulent.'

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Humphries, now 23, told the New York Times in an interview that the Buttons had 'complete control' over her while she was a young dancer at Boston Ballet II, the company's apprenticeship program.

The complaint states that Humphries, who was new to Boston and had no family or friends in the city at the time, first met Dusty Button, then a world-renowned prima ballerina, and her dance instructor husband in 2016. 

The Buttons befriended the young dancer in early 2017 and soon began inviting her over to their home, where Humphries was expected to drink heavily, according to the complaint. 

Dusty, who left Boston Ballet in 2017, allegedly held down Humphries while her husband sexually penetrated her without the woman's consent

Dusty, who left Boston Ballet in 2017, allegedly held down Humphries while her husband sexually penetrated her without the woman's consent 

Humphries claims in the lawsuit the Buttons had complete control over her and isolated her from family and friends

She was forced to live with the couple, who together would sexually abuse her, according to the complaint

Humphries claims in the lawsuit the Buttons had complete control over her and isolated her from family and friends. She was forced to live with the couple, who together would sexually abuse her, according to the complaint 

'The Buttons also began to insist that Sage sleep at their apartment on a regular basis,' the lawsuit alleges. 'The Buttons instructed Sage to wear their clothes and style her hair to match Dusty’s hair.' 

Mitchell allegedly told Humphries that if she agreed to hand over control of her social media accounts to him, including her passwords and access to her text messages and email, he would make her as famous as his wife.   

'If Sage ever attempted to distance herself or disobey the Buttons, they would threaten to revoke their financial support and sabotage her career,' the complaint alleges. 

One evening, the Buttons and Humphries were lying on a mattress together watching a movie when Mitchell sexually assaulted his young protégé after his wife dozed off, according to the complaint.

'Any time Sage attempted to develop other friendships and spend time apart from the Buttons, the Buttons would become enraged,' the lawsuit alleges.

On one occasion, Mitchell allegedly forced Humphries to preform oral sex on him as punishment for having lunch with a group of women.

The lawsuit alleges that the Buttons insisted that Humphries 'prioritize

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