Kenneth Schneider, Philadelphia Philanthropist, Charged in Sex Abuse of Minor

Kenneth Schneider(CBS/AP)
Kenneth Schneider (Publicity Photo)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) Arts philanthropist Kenneth Schneider has been accused of traveling to Russia to have sex with a 12-year-old dancer and of then bringing the boy back with him to the United States.

Kenneth Schneider, 45, was arrested in Cyprus on March 27.  He has been charged with traveling for the purpose of engaging in sex with a minor and transporting a person for criminal sexual conduct.

Schneider is the president and chief executive officer of Aurience Ltd., a London-based mergers and acquisitions firm.  He is also the founder of the Apogee Foundation which, according to its website, strives to "discover and assist extremely gifted performing artists in all parts of the world."

In 1998, Schneider allegedly traveled to Moscow and met the 12-year-old boy who was a student at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. When the boy's parents could no longer afford the tuition at the prestigious school, Schneider allegedly offered to pay and suggested that the boy live with him in his apartment, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The parents allegedly agreed.

Over the course of eight years, Schneider allegedly gave the boy gifts and made sexual advances towards him on numerous occasions, the paper reported. In 2001, the boy allegedly came back with Schneider to Philadelphia and was enrolled in a summer dance program.

U.S. Attorney Michael Levy believes Schneider "used his wealth and position as a supporter of the arts to victimize a young dancer." However, Joseph McHale, Schneider's attorney, said his client will return to the United States to defend himself against "these false accusations."