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Sarasota Teacher Arrested For Sexual Battery

Karate instructor John Garcia was arrested for having sex seven years ago with a Sarasota School of the Arts and Sciences student.

A karate instructor at the Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences is being held in Sarasota County jail without bond following charges he had sex seven years ago with a student in his classroom.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested John Garcia, 47 of 2816 Poplar St., Sarasota, for allegedly having sex with a student seven years ago.

Garcia was taken into custody Friday morning and charged with Custodial Sexual Battery on a Child, according to the sheriff's office.

A former student told detectives that Garcia had sex with her in his classroom when he was 41-years-old and she was just 14-years-old, according to the sheriff's office.

The victim, who is now 21 years old, had told her brothers about the incident, who then notified the sheriff's office, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The sheriff's office set up a phone call between the victim and Garcia where Garcia called her sweetie and babe and said "we weren't really boyfriend and girlfriend," according to the affidavit.

When the victim brought up the two had sex, Garcia said "we never really...really did...did all the way thing," according to the affidavit.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call Criminal Investigations at 941-861-4900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com or via text message by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637).

Sarah March 11, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I went to SSA+S the year this happened, and if she was in the grade she should have been, I know her. If she graduated eighth grade in 2005, I am sure I never remember being dismissed from one of Sensei's classes. He's not a stupid person, let alone stupid enough to do this during the school day.
Sarah March 11, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Just to be clear, I graduated eighth grade in 2005. Even if she was in seventh grade when this happened, the school is small, and word travels quick. Someone would know.
Katheryne March 11, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Sensei was my karate teacher since i was a child. He was sweet,nice,kind and quite a flirt to eveyone:) but thats just his personality! I dont get why this wouldve happened, but either way i know he wouldnt of done it because he isnt like that. He has a wife and 5 kids. He is smart enough not to do that! I dont get why all of these concludions are dropping on him. It isnt all his fault. I know he wouldnt of done this:( anyway why did this girl waited SO long to speak out about this now!? Sensei couldnt of done it anyway!
No Name March 12, 2012 at 01:31 AM
i love sensei!!! he would never do such a thing! i am in his class right now at SSA+S. He is a very fun and amazing teacher. I am not calling this girl a liar but I do not believe that sensei would do such a thing :) kyoshi is too awesome!
Billy Say March 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Are you kidding me? You think all pedophiles are outwardly atrocious? I'm sure plenty seem nice and sweet. I ATTENDED SSAS. And a lot of students thought he was inappropriate towards his students. We just never knew it was to this extent.
Billy Say March 12, 2012 at 11:47 PM
.......and?
Billy Say March 12, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Everyone here excusing this teachers actions and defending him truly sicken me. Your argument is that he is a popular teacher, a likeable person... that SSAS is too small of a school for something like this to of happened and for no one to know about it. I attended SSAS the year after the incident in question occured and I can vividly recall not only seeing this teacher behave in a way that was inappropriate, but hearing specific rumors about him and female students. At the time I shook them off as rumors but now I wonder what I could have possibly prevented by doing something about this disgusting man.
Andrea March 13, 2012 at 02:42 AM
I agree with you billy say. strongly.
Andrea March 13, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I must say,I attended SSAS all the way from 6th-8th grade,I remember him CLEARY touching&kissing girls.As a young girl I thought" i guess its okay since he's doing it in front of people"the fact that he did those things in front of people makes me think what could have done when no one was around.I know many girls that wait a long time to confess that they have been raped or have had sexual intercourse with an adult. This is SO normal, they are young&afraid to expose such a deep thing to anyone.I remember the way he interacted with other students, it was not acceptable, i don't care how friendly of a teacher you are, or how your personality is, they way he interacted with other females in my class and in other classes should have not been taken so lightly and should have not been allowed. You are a teacher, you teach the subject your supposed to, your not supposed to try to become the students friend and become so comfortable with them that you can hug them and kiss them on the cheek. sorry no.All of this is a form of injustice. its sad that people defend such a"sweet loving guy" just to look like a positive sweet person themselves,not even thinking about the girl,what was done to her,her purity&innocence was taking away from a 41 year old man.This mans personality can be very deceiving to the young heart.His friendly personality causes people to defend him, not remembering NO ONE is perfect and adults make mistakes also! nice friendly ones! Her brothers did the right thing!
No Name March 14, 2012 at 10:34 PM
omg billy say, STOP SAYING HOW BAD SENSEI IS CUZ HES NOT! I believe this was just a one time mistake! i go to ssas right now and its killing me to think we have a new martial arts teacher :'( that is just sensies personality (being a flirt and being kind to all the childrens mothers) and everyone in school is used to it!
Charles Schelle (Editor) March 16, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Hello all, we have filed a follow-up story as three more victims have came forward saying that Garcia had sexually abused them as well. http://patch.com/A-rDd2
andrea March 17, 2012 at 04:01 AM
NOT one time ...they just found out 3 more girls come forward.......
yp March 18, 2012 at 01:32 AM
now 3 more coming forward...my sons attended SSAS and they said he did flirt with the girls
Rainey Fitton March 18, 2012 at 08:24 AM
innocent until proven guilty. NONE of you know the whole story. so all of you shut up.
Rach March 22, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Well believe it. He was my teacher as well. in 2006 :l when it all occured...
Rach March 22, 2012 at 01:30 PM
HINT HINT: "to nice and always sweet to anyone" c'mon. Im with Billy on this. i attended too and noticed as well.
Rach March 22, 2012 at 01:31 PM
So what?... im sure plently of people like him have families
Rach March 22, 2012 at 01:32 PM
As do i!
Rach March 22, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I advise you wake up to reality and realize this is HIM. IT DID HAPPEN! and its probably sad to those that were close to him. but it happened. sorry "no name" but id get off "BILLY SAY" back. we all went there and we all know sooo.... sorry
Michelle Watson April 06, 2012 at 01:36 PM
When my daughter was going to school there, I always thought that he paid too much attention to the younger girls. I hope the real truth comes out and that if guilty he will be punished, he is the adult and teacher, these are just young girls with a crush on their good looking fun teacher and he should be the one with better judgement.
Gayle Ramirez April 08, 2012 at 03:37 AM
At the time he had just started dating his now wife as her 3 daughters went to his classes.He was divorced from his first wife who he had 2 sons with. and did anyone expect this no,but then most pedophiles are friendly and people love them how do you think they convince young girls/boys(depending on the situation) to do the things with them?If pedophiles were obvious or mean they wouldn't get their victims
amaya July 13, 2012 at 12:28 AM
i know most of us love him and some of us dont but he was a great teacher and we will all miss him but if he did do it it his lost but he did say he did it
lopez September 07, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Still praying day and night that my sensei is let of jail Ive known him for more that eleven years and know he wouldn't do this if he did do this its a one time mistake so everyone that's saying ooh he did it you don't know the truth so shut your mouth when he is out on the streets none of you and I mean none of you will say any of the cruel things you are saying on here he is a man of pride and very respected so if you don't know him leave the subject alone
Gayle Ramirez September 07, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Lopez he is on tape admitting he did it and 3 other girls have come forward as well. Sometimes we think people are something they are not.We knew him as well and my sons best friend also went to him for years.Things happen and you don't always know someone as well as you think.Most preditors are well loved by those who they haven't done anything to,and few people ever thought the person would do a bad thing.It is why they get away with it for so long.They know who to prey on.
Logan Gow November 29, 2012 at 12:43 AM
he was my Sensei,and Keyoshi, and i believe everyone deserves a second chance, he was a good teacher, and i know that in my heart, what he did was wrong, and though he may have did it seven years ago, the woman was said to be psychotic. he is a good man, Sensei, and Keyoshi.
Logan Gow November 29, 2012 at 12:47 AM
i know, he was my teacher all throughout middle school, and the new teacher is the dumbest person to walk the face of this planet. I am now a freshman i high school. and i remember the great times i had in his class
yp February 26, 2013 at 09:52 PM
He admitted guilt and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. please pray for the victims as well.
yp February 26, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Sensei admitted to it and was convicted to 20 years prison today...I hope when you have children you be very careful
yp February 26, 2013 at 09:56 PM
He got convicted and will go to prison for 20 years
Ash February 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM
I had this teacher about 4 years ago. From 6th to 8th grade he was one of my favorite techers and a man I looked up to in so many ways. I also took his karate class after school...He taught me everything I know about a sport that I was ao passionate about. It angrys and hurts me to know that all that time he was doing these things. Its an awful realazation..and I hope he gets the tine he deserves.

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