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International Sungjado Association in Hangul

 taekwondo hapkido

MARTIAL ARTS TEACHERS

AND

CHILD ABUSE

 

It seems that the following stories are popping up all over the world. Here are just a few, and I pray that these guys get all that is coming to them.

New York City:

A New York City police officer has been arrested on charges of raping a 14-year-old girl who studied martial arts at his home in Middletown, N.Y., and at his martial arts school in New Jersey, the authorities said on Friday.

Middletown Police Department

Trent Young

The officer, Trent Young, 39, was suspended without pay and stripped of his gun and badge after he was arrested at 4 a.m. Thursday by Middletown police officers who pulled him over as he was driving to his city job, officials said.

Officer Young is assigned to the 26th Precinct, in Upper Manhattan, and has been a police officer for nine years, said Lt. Patrick M. Freeman, a spokesman for the Middletown Police Department. He said the officer, who is married, was formerly a schoolteacher.

The child, who is now 15, came forward with her parents on Dec. 21, the police said. The child said that she became a student at Officer Young’s martial arts school in the summer of 2004, the police said, and that when she reached the green-belt level of her training, in December 2005, the officer had her sign an oath of obedience and take her clothes off. He then sexually abused her, the police said.

From 2006 through October 2007, Officer Young had sex with the girl 20 to 40 times at various locations, including at his home on Maple Drive and at the dojo, or martial arts school, he operates in West Milford, N.J., said Lieutenant Freeman. Calls to the school on Friday were not returned.

An investigation led the police to a second child, who also said the officer had her sign an oath of obedience and asked her to disrobe when she reached the green-belt level in the spring of 2007, when she was 14, said Lieutenant Freeman.

But “she does not comply,” the lieutenant said. Officer Young has not been charged in that case, the police said.

The police in Middletown, which is in Orange County, have alerted the authorities in New Jersey and are trying to determine whether other victims exist, said Lieutenant Freeman. He said the case would be presented to a grand jury. Investigators carried out search warrants at the officer’s locker at the station house and at his home to look for cameras or computers, the police said.

Lieutenant Freeman said Officer Young “twisted the martial arts code” of obedience between a teacher and a student, and violated his position of trust.

A lawyer for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the city police union, said the union was representing Officer Young for the purposes of arraignment only. “We have no comment,” said the lawyer, Stephen C. Worth.

Officer Young was freed on bail after his arraignment on Thursday, said Lieutenant Freeman, and was due back in court on Wednesday.

Long Island, New York:

Karate Instructor James N. Bonfiglio Charged with Sexually Abusing 13-Year-old Male Student

Monday, October 15th, 2007

In Long Island, karate instructor James Bonfiglio, 37, was arrested for sexually abusing a 13-year-old male student. He is being charged with criminal sexual act, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Bonfiglio is the owner of Excel Karate Academy in Ronkonkoma, New York, and has access to hundreds of kids. The sexual abuse took place in Bonfiglio’s apartment, in an apartment complex where many children live. Bonfiglio frequently volunteered with children’s organizations including the Suffolk County Division of Handicapped Services and at an after-school program run by the Suffolk County Police Athletic League in the Connetquot district school.

He passed a criminal history and sexual registry check before he was allowed to teach in the program. He has no previous criminal record according to his lawyer.

The 13-year-old victim describes himself as one Bonfiglio’s “cool group,” the ones allowed to hang out in the office of karate school and teach younger students. (My children’s karate instructor calls them apprentices.) The boy said that Bonfiglio started sending him lewd computer messages and twice lured him to his home for sex. When the instant messages started getting more explicit, the boy went to his mom. She then reported Bonfiglio’s action to the police.

Police are examining Bonfiglio’s computer to see if he had contact with any more kids. He has has pleaded not guilty is being held on $30,000 cash bail or $60,000 bond.

Police urge the parents of Bonfiglio’s students to talk with their kids to make sure that he didn’t act inappropriately with them. While police have no evidence linking Bonfiglio to other crimes, he’s around kids all day and could have had more than one victim. Police ask anyone with additional information to contact the Special Victims Section

United Kingdom:

In the UK, karate instructor Andrew Crawford, 36, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child, and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child. He now has to register as a sex offender. They haven’t determined how long his jail term will be yet - the maximum is 14 years.

What’s stunning about this case is that the victim is speaking out to protect other girls in her situation. I advise anyone who thinks that a teenager having a sexual relationship with an older man or woman is no big deal to read this interview. As she said,

"He was like a second dad to me. Then he took advantage of that.

It has made me not trust people. I hardly let anyone give me a hug or touch me. I’ve only got one friend who I would really even let touch me now.”

Her interview highlights how serious sexual abuse is and how important it is to tell your kids that they can always come to you if they’re in trouble.

 

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