In October 2013, the Department of Social Services and the Annapolis Police Department received reports of sexual abuse regarding an East Coast Martial Arts instructor at an academy in Edgewater. The 26-year-old instructor was allegedly involved with a female student who was only 14 years old.
The alleged sexual relationship started in July 2013 and went on for a number of months at the instructor’s Annapolis home, according to the police investigation. He met the young girl at one of the martial arts classes that he conducted. According to the owner of the academy, the instructor was a student at the academy prior to becoming an instructor and had also undergone a background check. The owner also stated that he fired the instructor as soon as the child sexual abuse allegations came under investigation.
After turning himself in to authorities on Feb. 20, the instructor was charged with second-degree assault, child abuse, third and fourth degree sex offenses, and sex abuse of a minor. Police also expressed concern regarding his contact with other students that were around the same age. They have asked for anyone with further information regarding other alleged victims to contact the Criminal Investigation Division.
A conviction on child sex abuse charges can have a lasting impact on the rest of a person’s life. Penalties in Maryland could be quite harsh and involve mandatory registering as a sex offender and lengthy imprisonment. A criminal defense attorney with a history of representing defendants in sexual abuse cases may be able to help by reviewing the evidence supporting the allegations, fighting the charges in court and negotiating with the prosecutor for a lesser sentence.
Source: WBAL, “Edgewater martial arts instructor faces child sex abuse charges“, Saliqa Khan, February 27, 2014