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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The owner of a martial arts studio in Davie is accused of inappropriate behavior around several minors.
Jujitsu school owner and instructor, 34-year-old Joao Da Silva is accused of sexually molesting three teenage girls, 13 to 17 years old, two of them at his Raiva Brazilian Jujitsu Center on West State Road 84 in Davie.
“Two of the victims allege that he inappropriately touched their breasts, under their bra,” said Davie police Detective Vivian Gallinal.
Police say the molestations had nothing to do with learning martial arts.
“It was not accidental or during the course of the instruction,” Gallinal said.
One victim told police the molestation was physically painful, leaving her hurting for hours. That victim, 15, said the molestations began two weeks ago.
The 13-year-old said the alleged molester had been assaulting her three times a week since she was 10.
“One victim is alleging it’s been happening throughout the three years that she’s been attending,” Gallinal said.
With Da Silva accused of sexually assaulting two girls in Davie, and a third in Hollywood, the circumstances of which have not been released, an obvious question remains.
“We don’t know if there are more victims, but we are asking if there are more victims to please come forward,” Gallinal said.
Parents of children who attended Da Silva’s school are urged to ask them about any possible inappropriate behavior they may have experienced or witnessed.
Late Tuesday night jail records show deputies booked Da Silva into the Broward County jail on a total of 4 charges — one count of sexual assault and 3 counts of lewd and lascivious molestation.
He’s being held without bond.
As the accusations swirled around Da Silva, several people who know him questioned the truth of the allegations.
“When I hear something like this, this is shocking to me,” said Pierre Kattan, who owns a chandelier business next to the jujitsu center. “I really don’t believe this. It has to be a mistake.”
Kattan said his sons attend classes at the studio and he’s never seen anything but the utmost professionalism and discretion from Da Silva.
“I’ve noticed very, very much, especially because in jujitsu you very close contact with female, girls or boys, he keeps distance,” he said. “That’s his policy.”