Karate instructor arrested for allegedly inappropriately touching 15-year old female student


A Gaithersburg karate instructor faces sex abuse and offense charges for reportedly inappropriately touching one of his female students.

The 15-year old victim told police it happened multiple times during lessons at 54-year old Frank Pugarita’s karate studio between January of 2017 and June of 2017.

Detectives began their investigation of Pugarita in June and arrested him on Oct. 9.

On Wednesday, a judge set a $10,000 bond for him in court.

Several dozen supporters attended the hearing, showing their support for the longtime karate studio owner.

A friend of Pugarita told WDVM he was a good Christian man and is innocent.

News of his arrest comes within just days of several other similar cases in the county.

“We get notified by our detectives, who are in turn notified by victims, when these offenses occur, and that’s when we release [any information on] it,” said Officer Rick Goodale, Montgomery County Police. “So, unfortunately, three came out in the last week, but we’re hoping that’s not any type of trend.”

Police are urging parents of Pugarita’s students to talk to their children about what inappropriate touching is; detectives believe there may have been additional victims.

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