Former Conshohocken Karate Teacher Agrees to Plea Deal in Sex Abuse Case
On Wednesday, a former karate instructor at DeStolfo’s Premier Martial Arts Studio in Conshohocken agreed to plead guilty to sexually abusing teen students during trips to martial arts tournaments in Maryland and New York. 28-year-old Evan Burgess will spend 6.5 years in prison if the plea is accepted by U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Savage in a hearing scheduled for this October.
Burgess was accused of sexually abusing four teenage students who he allegedly groomed during karate lessons at the studio. Prosecutors say Burgess would interact with the victims on social media and abused them during hotel stays between 2014 and 2016. In some cases, other adults were sleeping in the same room when the abuse occurred.
All four boys told investigators that they shared beds with Burgess during these out-of-state trips and woke up to find the instructor performing sexual acts.
Burgess has agreed to plead guilty to traveling across state lines to engage in illicit sexual activity. The 6.5-year sentence is reduced from the 11-14 years he originally faced if convicted.
Burgess was fired in 2017 after the victims came forward. He is already serving a minimum 3-year sentence in state prison after being convicted earlier this month for sexually abusing teens during sleepovers at his parent’s house. These assaults did not involve interstate travel and Burgess was charged with sexual assault by a sports official in Montgomery County in that case.
The plea deal for the interstate abuse case took place in a federal court in Philadelphia.
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.
When Are Business Owners Liable For Sexual Abuse by Employees?
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com represents sex abuse victims and their families in civil cases. Brian has offered to share some general information regarding business owner liability for sexual abuse by employees:
In certain types of businesses, it’s vital to make sure that all employees are trustworthy. This is especially true in fields that involve adults working with kids. In these types of businesses, such as martial arts studios, there is always a risk that sexual predators will seek out employment. These predators use their positions of trust as a means to groom victims and eventually commit terrible crimes.
Business owners have a legal duty to do all in their power to ensure the safety of their clients. Certain preventative measures can reduce the risk of sexual abuse, such as running background checks and not allowing employees to be in one-on-one situations with children.
In some cases, the sexual abuse of clients by employees may have been preventable if not for negligence. When this applies, the victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the business. For example, a business could be deemed negligent if they hired an employee with a history of sexual misconduct.
If you or someone close to you has been sexually abused by a martial arts instructor or an employee of another type of business, you can learn more about your legal options by discussing your case with an experienced sex abuse survivors attorney.
Location of DeStolfo’s Premier Martial Arts in Conshohocken, PA
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