Shore Area Performing Arts Teacher Facing Serious Charges

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MANCHESTER – A Whiting man faces a slew of serious charges after alleged incidents took place at his private performing arts studio in town.

Manchester Township Police said 43-year-old Michael W. Grande was arrested after police got a number of complaints regarding inappropriate interactions with several of his minor students.

Grande owns and operates the Westminster School of Performing Arts, where he also is a teacher. Police said he is also the Artistic and Education Director for the Westminster Theatre Company. Both the studio and theatre company are located in Whiting.

Grande is accused of providing alcoholic beverages to the underage victims ranging from age 16 to 20 and also allegedly took photos and videos of them in various stages of undress.

Police Captain Todd Malland confirmed Grande was charged with Endangering the Welfare of Children, Promoting Obscene Material to a Person under 18 and Providing Alcoholic Beverages to Underage Persons. He was released on summonses in accordance with New Jersey bail reform.

Police are urging anyone with additional information to contact Detective Danny Barker at 732-657-2009 ext. 4204.