A former karate instructor accused of victimizing four students at the Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences is headed to prison.
John Garcia pleaded no contest Tuesday to "two counts of sexual battery by a person in familial or custodial authority and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age," according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Garcia told the court, “I am sorry, though I know those words are not enough,” a news release said.
According to the sheriff's office, he was sentenced to 20 years in Florida State Prison, five years’ probation and was designated a sexual predator.
As a convicted sexual predator Garcia will have additional sanctions upon release which restrict where he can live and work and requires mandatory sex offender counseling.
Garcia was initially charged in the case of a 14-year-old girl, but news coverage of his arrest prompted three additional complaints against him stemming from separate crimes that occurred during the 2005-2006 school year when the girls were 12 or 13 years old, a news release said.
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