A Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor in Kennewick, Washington, has been accused of molesting a teenage, female student.
According to the Tri-City Herald, Oscar Perez Garnica, who teaches math at Kennewick high school and jiu-jitsu at Choice Martial Arts, has been placed on paid administrative leave after being accused of “inappropriately touching a girl and trying to set up a secret rendezvous to have sex.”
The incident happened on August 7 at the martial arts school. Garnica had been helping the girl “work through some difficult personal problems.” While they were alone, he began kissing the girl and touching her inappropriately.
The girl – whose age and name were not given – told her counselor, who was legally obligated to report the incident to police. When the girl knew he was going to contact the police, she asked her mom to drive her to the martial arts school so she could tell Garnica.
The 47-year-old explained to the girl’s mother that he had indeed hugged the girl while she was sitting on his lap, but his hand must have slipped.
Police found a long history of text messages between Garnica and the teen. Altogether, there were about 400 from between late July and August 9, though both he and the girl deleted all texts between them.
Oscar Perez Garnica was charged on Monday in Benton County Superior Court with third-degree child molestation. He has been sent a summons to appear on October 19.