A Florida martial arts teacher is facing federal charges after he coerced and sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl.
Alexander Johnson, a 40-year-old karate teacher in Boca Raton, is charged with coercing a child into sexual activity. The egregious crime has drawn the Justice Department to step in and the man now faces federal charges rather than state charges.
Johnson was alerted to the authorities by a friend who said the instructor had “confided in him” that he was having a sexual relationship with a minor.
The girl told detectives that Johnson had “befriended her” in 2011 after praising poetry that she showed him. He began to text the girl often, which she described as “awkward and weird.”
The girl’s mom found out and got a restraining order against Johnson. Police say that Johnson violated the restraining order not long after that, “texting the girl every day for several months.”
A teacher confiscated the girl’s phone and reported the texts to the authorities. Officials say that Johnson texted her, saying “he could not live without her” and telling her how she could be “like a good whore.”
Investigators also say that Johnson apparently lost nude photos of the girl, texting her “It killed me to lose your pics. I spend so much time looking at them when THINGS CALM DOWN U CAN SEND MORE.”
The girl told police that Johnson sexually assaulted her in a bathroom inside his karate studio.
Alex Arreaza, Johnson’s attorney, told reporters that there is not enough evidence to convict him, saying “When a child is allegedly the victim, emotion is going to be high … the question is going to be whether he broke the law.”