Last month, a karate instructor at a Plymouth Meeting karate studio was accused of sexually abusing students in the studio. 26 year old Evan Burgess of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania has since been arrested.
Three victims have come forward, and all allege that they were sexually assaulted by Burgess. The victims allege they had similar experiences while away on martial arts tournaments or sleepovers in the basement of his home. The victims woke up to Burgess performing sexual acts on them.
According to prosecutors, Burgess groomed the victims at the karate lessons and contacted them via social media.
What is Grooming?
Grooming is a term we hear often in sexual abuse cases, and it is when the abuser/perpetrator builds a relationship and trust with the victim in an effort to get access and alone time with the victim. After the victim trusts the abuser, he/she is unlikely to tell anyone of the abuse. Young children are especially susceptible to grooming.
Consider the following example of the relationship between a karate instructor and a student. The student does not spend a lot of time with his parents. His parents are often at work and when they are at home, they are busy doing their own things. The student is often taken to school activities by his babysitter. An instructor at the karate studio is especially supportive of the student, always encouraging him and telling him what a good job he is doing. He even offers to help the student with his homework if his parents cannot. As the child begins to admire the instructor and become closer to him, the instructor starts taking the student out to dinner from time to time. As more time passes, the student trusts the instructor even more, and the instructor takes the student to the movies on the weekends. After seeing that the child completely trusts him, the instructor starts to touch him inappropriately and begins having an inappropriate sexual relationship with the boy. The instructor tells the boy that this is what people do when they love each other.
In this situation, the boy is unlikely to tell anyone that he is being sexually abused by his instructor due to grooming. The boy may be very confused. Even though he may know that something is not right, he has come to love and admire the instructor. He may believe that this is what people do when they love each other. Further, why would someone that cares about him do things to hurt him? This is how powerful grooming can be.
Legal Help for Victims of Sexual Assault and Molestation
If you or a loved one was a victim of sex abuse by a teacher or instructor, such as a karate instructor, call Mr. Kent to schedule a FREE consultation. Mr. Kent has been featured in local and national news about his expertise in civil child molestation and sex abuse cases. 215.399.9255/800.220.7600