Tango Trial

On the opening day of the trial for former tango instructor Chas Gale, the judge dimmed the lights so Gale's defense lawyers could project video footage of an extremely distraught woman banging her hands on a table and screaming. Only a couple of seconds of the video played for the jury before the prosecution objected and the video was stopped.

The footage was captured after the 52-year-old woman, who had paid Gale for tango lessons, went to police and claimed that he had molested her by touching her vaginal area and putting her hand on his penis. Gale is facing two years in jail and a $5,000 fine and being added to the sex offender registry if convicted.

As the trial began Monday, the defense tried to paint the woman as an unstable man hater who has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after having spent the first eighteen years of her life being molested. The prosecution tried to portray her as a woman going through a divorce after twenty years of marriage with two kids at home who was hoping to engage in a new social scene at the hands of Gale, whom she’d hired to instruct her.

“I don’t want to have sex with you. I want to learn the tango,” the woman testified was her response to Gale’s behavior.

The Denver judge told the jury -- made up of five women and one man -- that he hopes to have testimony wrapped up on Tuesday. -- Luke Turf

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes