ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Detectives filed a third charge against a St. Pete Tae Kwon Do instructor after a another victim came forward accusing him of molestation.
Andrew Jin Kim, 23, was charged with capital sexual battery on Monday.
Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office think there could be more victims. They are again asking for people to contact them if they have knowledge of inappropriate conduct involving Kim.
Kim, who was an instructor at Oh’s Tae Kwon Do in Seminole, was originally arrested and charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on February 5.
Detectives say in that case, he admitted to touching two girls, ages 6 and 7, while the victims were undressed. Kim allegedly told the victims to keep the incident a secret. The investigation began after one of the victims told her mother, who reported the incident to the sheriff’s office.
The capital sexual battery charge was filed on Monday after the mother of an 8-year-old girl received a message from one of the mothers of the first victims. The message contained a link to a news story about the original arrest of Andrew Jin Kim.
Detectives say the mother spoke to her daughter about the matter and on Monday, Feb. 8, she came forward and reported it to the sheriff’s office.
According to detectives, sometime in late July or August 2015, Kim picked up the victim from school to transport her to Oh’s Tae Kwon Do for class. Detectives say that while they were in the vehicle, Kim forced the 8-year-old girl to engage in a sex act with him.
Detectives say the owner of the business has been cooperative in this investigation and had no knowledge of Kim’s criminal behavior.
Detectives say Kim worked at Oh’s as an instructor from 2012 to August of 2015 at which time he was terminated for being dishonest about work related matters that were unrelated to his arrest.
The news about new charges spread through the Seminole community.
“As a martial arts school instructor and owner, it’s a real violation, you know, of our philosophy and what we stand for,” said Ric Martin of Authentic Martial Arts.
Martin and his daughter, Erica, another instructor, are shocked and offended.
“It’s terrible and it’s a disgrace to the martial arts industry,” Erica Martin said. “It is a poor representation of what is out there, because we as martial artists operate with integrity.”
Stefani Walkling, an instructor at On The Mat, said she heard about the allegations through parents. She said it’s a shame young children were taken advantage of.
“They become a part of your family and your life, so knowing someone could take that and abuse it is a really terrible thing,” Walkling said.
“There has been from the beginning and continues to be today a lot of concern that there could be additional victims out there,” a sheriff’s office spokeswoman said.
At this time detectives are renewing their request to the public to come forward with any information regarding inappropriate contact Kim may have had with other children. Anyone with information regarding any other potential victims are asked to please contact the Corporal Mark Kolenda with the Crimes Against Children’s Unit at (727) 582-6200.