SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A karate instructor accused of repeatedly molesting two of his teenage students at his Tierrasanta martial arts studio pleaded not guilty Monday to 15 felony charges of oral copulation and lewd acts on a child.
Juan Melesio Flores, 38, was ordered held on $350,000 bail. He was arrested Thursday outside his Z-Ultimate Studio on Tierrasanta Boulevard.
Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick said both of the alleged victims were students at the defendant's studio and he had known them for years. The students ranged in age from 15 to 17 when the alleged molestations occurred in 2012 and this year.
The prosecutor said Flores engaged in an "escalation of conduct" with both boys that led to massages and oral copulation.
Patrick praised the alleged victims for coming forward and revealing "what this defendant had been doing."
Defense attorney Vincent Ross argued unsuccessfully for $100,000 bail, saying Flores was a lifelong San Diegan who gave back to the community by teaching self-defense to various groups.
Flores faces 12 years and three months in prison if convicted, Patrick said.
A preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 13.
All southbound lanes of Interstate 5 will be closed from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Sunday night and continuing through Oct. 25, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.
A Mexican fishing boat caught fire and burned 30 miles south of San Diego, and while 15 people were rescued by a U.S.- flagged vessel, three people remained missing Sunday.
A blessing. That is exactly what Kelly Muno is calling what happened to her son, a former San Diego State University baseball star, on Friday afternoon.
San Diego State has suspended one of its fraternities, the university announced in a statement late Friday.
Gun owners had the chance to trade in unwanted firearms for gift cards or skateboards on Saturday, no questions asked, at a gun "buy back" event in southeastern San Diego.
Warm and dry conditions are expected to last through Saturday. Gusty northeast winds in the mountains and valleys are expected to increase the risk of fire danger in the region.
The University of Southern California will pay $215 million in an "agreement in principle" to patients treated by Dr. George Tyndall, a campus gynecologist who has been accused of sexual assault by hundreds of women.
A San Diego Harbor Police vehicle was involved in a crash with a bicyclist early today, officers said.