Instructor arrested on sex charges
Publication Date: Friday Aug 19, 1994

POLICE: Instructor arrested on sex charges

Karate studio employee faces 16 counts of child molestation

An instructor at a Menlo Park karate studio was arrested Monday night and charged with 16 counts of child molestation and illegal sexual activities with minors.

The suspect, Kenneth Wayne Roberts, 25, of Redwood City, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Menlo Park Police Commander Steve Lewis announced the arrest at a news conference Thursday. Lewis said two victims of the alleged crimes have been identified so far, both of them boys, and both of them students at Kim's Tae Kwon Do marital arts studio at 562 Oak Grove Ave. The boys are ages 9 and 11. One lives in Los Altos Hills and the other in Redwood City.

Lewis said there will be additional interviews with other students at the martial arts studio and possibly additional charges filed.

"There are a number of young men involved, a number of boys, and we don't know how many," Lewis said. "The investigation is just beginning."

The studio was closed through this weekend and studio employees are cooperating fully with the police. The initial contact with the police came from studio employees after the two boys alleged they had been molested.

The incidents occurred over the last six months, Lewis said. Neither Lewis nor Steven Burnside, attorney for the studio, who also attended the news conference, knew how long Roberts had worked at the studio. Lewis also was unable to say if Roberts had any prior arrests or convictions, or where he is from originally.

Burnside said the studio's "membership is shocked and saddened in the extreme by these events."

Roberts had lived in a rented room in the Redwood City home of one of the victims. Lewis said that the crimes allegedly took place in Menlo Park, Redwood City, and possibly other police jurisdictions.

Roberts was charged with one count of lewd or lascivious acts against a child under fear or duress, four counts of lewd or lascivious acts against a child, seven counts of oral copulation with a child, and four counts of exposing a minor to harmful matter.

A team of Menlo Park and Redwood City investigators have been assigned to the case, and police have established a hotline for people with information to call: 858-3309.

--Don Kazak

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