Multiple Women Accuse Marlborough Dance Studio Owner Charged With Newport Arson Of Grooming With Alcohol, Carries On Business Despite Dozens Of Criminal Charges


This is Matt Parello from Stow, who now resides in Newport, RI.

Matt is the former mascot for Worcester State University, and owns the Downtown Dance Center in Downtown Marlborough.

Matt and his girlfriend Erin Linebarger got in trouble a couple months ago for painting a mural on the side of their business, which violated the city’s sign ordinance, and they had to pay a $4K fine.

But that’s not the first or the last time he’s run afoul of the law, as last week in Newport he was indicted by a grand jury for arson and vandalism.

A Rhode Island statewide grand jury had indicted a man on arson and vandalism charges for an incident in Newport in 2022. The grand jury charged Matthew Parello on Wednesday with several charges for an incident on September 17, 2022. Parello is charged with first-degree arson, two counts of vandalism, and one count of willful trespass.


But this arson charge was hardly his first run-in with the law. Parello moved to Newport because he burned (no pun intended) so many bridges in Central Mass. He’s been charged with crimes in Marlborough, Westborough, Worcester, and Concord District Courts, for a variety of offenses including (these are just in these 4 courts, which were the only ones in Massachusetts we searched for):

  • assault, larceny over $250
  • A&B on a family member
  • violation of an abuse prevention order
  • driving without a license
  • reckless operation of a motor vehicle
  • OUI
  • drug possession
  • malicious destruction of property
  • larceny by check
  • leaving the scene of property damage
  • using a motor vehicle without authority

Yet he manages to remain out of jail. In 2014 he was sentenced to to 18 months in the Worcester House of Corrections for violating an abuse prevention order, but it’s unclear if he actually served it.

He has violated his probation multiple times, including twice for testing positive for cocaine and not reporting to his probation officer.

Oh, and the order of protection that he violated was for his parents Kathleen and Ronald.

He eventually moved to Rhode Island to start fresh while still owning and operating the dance studio in Marlborough. Except all he’s done there is continue to break the law, as he’s been charged with crimes in Woonsocket, and a whole bunch more in Newport, for drug possession, OUI, vandalism (multiple times), visiting a common nuisance, and the recent first degree arson charge.

Not only has he managed to remain out of prison, he also carries on like a normal, legitimate business owner, instead of the cokehead abuser that he is. He’s making posts about his dance studio like it wasn’t just made public that he was charged with arson. He’s been sharing fundraisers, making announcements about being in rap videos, and sharing fundraisers for his for-profit business.

Matt and Erin got engaged a little over two years ago and you would hardly be able to tell that he’s a serial criminal.

But what he doesn’t advertise is that he met and groomed Erin when she was a dancer at his studio, and she’s not the first. Multiple women have accused him of being inappropriate with underage girls, including some who commented publicly, and others privately. According to witnesses he was well known to have parties where he bought underage girls alcohol as young as 15, and made underage dancers feel inappropriate by asking them out on dates and implying that he wanted to have sex with them.


According to one former dancer it was well known what a groomer and pervert Matt is.

I know multiple girls he’s had sex with under the age of 18 while they were dancing there. Throwing parties after hours, underaged girls – he invited me to his house to get drunk when I was 15 – being offered cigarettes at 15, forcing us to dress sexualized. 

All the employees at the studio are either former underaged girls who grew up partying and taking part in his ways, or people who are too scared of him to get out. He drives up on Sunday to hold “dance company Worcester” at his studio and usually after that is when he closes the doors and the party starts. 

At the age of 14 I became his dance partner. He groomed me so well. It disgusts me to even think about or look at. If I smoked a cigarette with him that day I would be the favorite student. If I went to his house I’d end up getting front and center. Those are the horrible thoughts my 14 year old brain was processing. What if I don’t do these things he’s asking me my dance career is over, which shows how naive I was. It’s embarrassing.

The thought of him still being able to do the things he did to all of us to these new young girls who trust him make me sick. 

He also reportedly had to open up his studio because he was kicked out of so many other studios for being inappropriate.

He was teaching at many local studios as a guest one night a week or so till he got caught doing shady shit, then he would get kicked out, go work for another studio, and again and again until they finally decided to buy one in Marlborough so they couldn’t get kicked out anymore

When you run a dance studio you have to hire dance teachers. Well Matt was employed at a lot of them. In return Matt would ask if he could host his “traveling dance company” dance company. He had scholarships that he offered to young girls, it was every Sunday. Then he would do some sketchy shit and get kicked out of the dance studio and come up with some bullshit excuse of why we had to move our Sunday dance company to a new studio. We bounced around as a company for years, think of it as renting studios almost- an everyday dance studio doesn’t operate 7 days a week. So Matt would offer to teach there so he could use the studio the day they were closed and the company would come in and he would teach us. After years of that his father bought him the studio in Marlborough so we would stop getting kicked out. We were located right next to Funky Murphys in Marlborough. He was banned from Funky’s too. 

Another woman posted publicly about how she was offered booze and cigarettes as a 15 year old dancer, and one of his current employees named Nikki Scimeca immediately blamed the victim.

“At 15 you have the ability to just say no.”

Actually, she doesn’t. This is how every rapist ever has attempted to justify statutory rape. A 15 year old should never be put int he position where an adult she trusts and looks up to offers her alcohol and cigarettes. If you try to justify that then you’re no better than he is. This is the face of an enabler.

Nikki also insisted that recent arson charge against Matt is a false accusation, and shamed anyone who “speculated” on the undeniable fact that a grand jury indicted him for the crime.

Yea, I’m sure it was wrong place, wrong time. Just like the plethora of other charges on his record. It’s not like it’s a pattern or anything.

Anyway, this guy is clearly a predator and a substance abuser, and he can’t stop breaking the law. It’s madness that he carries on his dance studio that caters to children, like none of this is happening. What’s even worse is that his parents and employees not only seem to be enabling it, but they attack people for pointing it out. People like Nikki seem to believe that the truth isn’t actually real, which is the kind of thing you say when you’ve been groomed by an abuser. I wonder what his fiance Erin does and doesn’t know, and if her parents have any idea who the man they’re about to welcome into their family really is.

I reached out to Matt for comment but have not heard back. If he’d like to share his side of the story he’s more than welcome to reach out to me on Facebook at Clarence Woods Emerson. I’d be happy to have him on the Live Show this weekend.


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