Karate instructor accused of having sex with student - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Karate instructor accused of having sex with student

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EL CAJON (CNS) - A settlement conference is scheduled Wednesday in El Cajon for a 38-year-old karate instructor accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with one of his teenage students.

Eric Dylan Protas, of La Mesa, is charged with 29 felony counts. He is free on $800,000 bail.

The alleged victim, now 14, testified last October that he had oral and anal sex about 300 times in a year-and-a-half period with Protas, the owner/operator of the Allied Gardens School of Martial Arts on Waring Road.

The boy testified that Protas became his instructor in an after-school martial arts program when he was in kindergarten, and he began taking classes at the studio when he was older.

At one point, when he was having trouble at home and school, he confided in Protas, who made him feel better, the boy said. He said that launched a relationship in which they got together nearly every day.

The two began having sex at Protas' house and, if he refused, the defendant would "shut down" emotionally and cry, according to the boy.

Police were called when the teen told his mother what was happening, after he was arrested for shoplifting.

Protas faces up to 48 years in prison if convicted, said prosecutor John Philpott.

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