An 11-year-old female student at the karate studio told Bloomfield police that the owner and instructor, 56-year-old Edilberto “Eddie” Torres, had sexually abused her multiple times after he agreed to watch her before classes.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and criminal complaint say that the abuse happened between April and June.
Torres has been charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
He was released from custody on July 9 following a detention hearing. Judge Martin Cronin released him under the condition that he have no contact with his accuser or any other minors under age 17 other than family. He is also prohibited from going within 100 feet of the dojo or to any offsite events for the business.
Torres is scheduled to appear in court again on August 2.
Hi, I’m attorney Brian Kent.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options.
Call me on the number below. It costs nothing, and it would be my honor to help you.
Legal Recourse For Martial Arts Sex Abuse Victims and Their Families
Attorney contributor Brian Kent represents victims of sexual abuse in their fights for justice in civil cases. Brian has offered to share some thoughts on the legal options available to victims of sexual abuse by martial arts instructors:
Businesses, where adult employees are working with children, must do everything they can to make sure those children are safe. Sexual predators often seek out jobs in these businesses, where they exploit their positions of trust in order to commit terrible crimes against children. When a child is sexually abused by a martial arts instructor, it’s important to determine if the business did all in their power to prevent that abuse.
In some cases of sexual abuse involving martial arts instructors, the owner of the business is partially responsible for failing to prevent the abuse. For example, the owner could be liable if they failed to run background checks or if the owner himself was the abuser. In such cases of negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Stephen Hayward has been with LegalHerald.com for almost 5 years. Stephen has a masters in English from Harvard and has been writing in the legal space for the last 7 years. Stephen has covered a range of topics including following mass torts and sexual assault lawsuits.
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