The former owner of the now-defunct Kempo Karate School in Modesto has been sentenced to 29 years and eight months in prison for sexually abusing several young karate students. 53-year-old Carlos Silva Loya was sentenced by a Stanislaus County judge on Monday, September 22.
Loya was the owner and master instructor at Kempo Karate School at the time of his arrest in August of 2016. He pleaded no contest to sexually abusing eight of his students, but now he wants to withdraw that plea.
In addition to the prison sentence, Superior Court Judge Thomas Zeff ordered Loya to stay 100 yards away from his eight victims and to make no attempts to contact them. He also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The first victim came forward to tell police that Loya had sexually abused him. Police then interrogated Loya and he confessed to having sexual contact with the boy, according to testimony by Detective Sean Dodge.
Following the news coverage of his arrest, several other former students came forward to report that they had also been sexually abused by Loya. He was charged with 29 felony counts of sexual abuse.
On March 26 of this year, Loya pleaded no contest to seven counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child and one count of committing sodomy by force on a child younger than 14 years old. The remaining charges were dropped as part of the plea deal.
Earlier in September, Loya testified that he felt like he was forced into the plea deal and that he wanted to withdraw the plea. However, Judge Zeff denied the request.
Former sex crimes prosecutor Bobby Thompson, represents victims of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits, with a focus on cases involving predators in positions of trust. If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a martial arts instructor, here is some general information on your options for legal recourse:
Sexual predators often seek out positions of trust. Some of these predators even own businesses where they’ll have the opportunity to exploit the trust of their customers in order to commit terrible crimes. When a martial arts studio owner or instructor sexually abuses students, it’s important that these victims and their families are aware of their legal rights.
When a child comes forward to disclose abuse, the allegations must be reported to law enforcement so that the perpetrator can be investigated and prosecuted. However, the legal rights for victims and their families often don’t end in criminal courts. In many cases, these victims and families may have grounds for a sexual assault lawsuit against the owner of the business.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a martial arts instructor or someone else in a position of trust, our attorneys are prepared to help your family find justice. You can learn more about your legal rights in a free case consultation.