Jury selection to begin in karate instructor sex abuse case
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Jury selection is expected to get underway Thursday in the trial of a karate instructor accused of repeatedly molesting two of his teenage students at his Tierrasanta martial arts studio.
Juan Melesio Flores, 39, faces multiple charges of oral copulation and committing a lewd act on a child. He could be sent to prison for more than 12 years if convicted.
One of the alleged victims — identified in court as Brandon — testified in February that he was 12 or 13 years old when he met Flores and that he looked up to him as a friend and mentor.
Brandon said that when he was 16, Flores began groping his genitals over his clothes at the martial arts studio. Brandon testified that he laughed it off at first, but it became a daily occurrence.
The alleged victim said things progressed until Flores performed a sex act on him in November 2012.
Brandon said he initially told his girlfriend and best friend what happened, and ultimately told his mother.
Another alleged victim, identified as Derek, testified that he was 14 when Flores started molesting him at the studio.