In October 2018, a Long Island karate instructor was arrested on charges that he sexually abused a 14-year-old student in September. 26-year-old Michael Caretto was arraigned on Friday, October 5 on misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
According to the police, Carretto was the girl’s martial arts instructor at Dragon’s Gate Martial Arts Academy in Oakdale. Prosecutors say that he touched the girl’s chest and told her he wanted to have sex with her on September 11.
The owner of Dragon’s Gate says that Carretto was a volunteer and not an employee. He also says that the incident did not happen at the business.
Carretto was also employed at the Developmental Disabilities Institute in Smithtown. He was suspended from that position in the wake of these charges.
Attorney Laurence Banville represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked him to share some input regarding the legal options available to those who have been sexually abused by martial arts instructors:
In any business which involves working with children, it’s crucial for ownership to make sure the environment is safe and that the children are not at risk of being abused physically, sexually, or emotionally. Sadly, many predators seek out positions in such businesses. The owners of these businesses must make sure that background checks are run before hiring new employees and that proper training and supervision protocol is met. When a young student is sexually abused by a martial arts instructor, it’s critical both to prosecute the abuser and to make sure the business met their legal obligation to keep their customers safe.
In cases where the negligence of the business owner allowed abuse to occur, the victims and their families may have grounds to file a lawsuit. For example, the owner of a martial arts studio might be considered negligent if they failed to run a background check and hired an employee with a history of sexual misconduct.
If you or your child is a survivor of martial arts instructor sexual abuse, you may be wondering how your family can find justice for the trauma you’ve suffered. To learn more about your family’s legal options, consider contacting one of our experienced sexual abuse survivors attorneys for a free consultation.