Sentencing of karate instructor convicted of molestation postpon - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sentencing of karate instructor convicted of molestation postponed

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EL CAJON (CNS) - A judge's illness forced a postponement Thursday in the sentencing of a karate instructor who carried on a months-long sexual relationship with one of his teenage male students.

Eric Dylan Protas, of La Mesa, faces up to 48 years in prison.

Sentencing was rescheduled to May 11 before Judge Peter Deddeh.

Protas, 38, pleaded guilty in February to 29 felony charges, including committing lewd acts on a child.

The victim -- now 14 -- testified in October that he had oral and anal sex about 300 times between August 2009 and May 2010 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 led to 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.

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