PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) — Martial arts instructor Jonathan Vega faces charges for kissing a 12-year-old student of his and told police he fears he may do it again.
Police said it happened when the two were alone at the Premier Martial Arts Studio in Pembroke Pines, back in January.
“It’s unacceptable behavior,” said Jeff Asesor, owner of the karate studio. “We have to look out for the safety of our children and he’s terminated. These are not the life skills and values we teach as a martial artist.”
Asesor fired Vega after hearing the stunning allegations but he was even more shocked to hear what was in the police report. Investigators said Vega, 22, told the young student “that he wanted to have sex with her when she was older.”
Detectives said he also admitted “that he is attracted to children and that he doesn’t trust himself around children,” going on to say he “feels that he may not have the strength to resist another child.”
Since the incident, the studio has changed locations.
“I’m trying to help my son,” said Monica Abelo, the defendant’s mother. “This is the first time it happened to him.”
Abelo was at the court hearing Wednesday morning, urging the judge to allow Vega to bond out of jail.
“He has a good record,” she said. “He is a good student, person, citizen. He recently graduated from FIU as a mechanical engineer.”
Prosecutors argued he should have a substantial bond, pointing out Vega told police that when he was 18 he had a relationship with a 14-year-old.
“The state and law enforcement are very concerned for the safety of the community, specifically minors in the community,” said prosecutor Eric Linder.
The judge set bond at $50,000 with several conditions.
“No contact with this victim, no contact with any children,” the judge responded. “You can not go back to your job at that karate studio, you can not be with in 500 feet of where children may be.”