Tae Kwon Do instructor accused of sexual assault
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A Tae Kwon Do instructor accused of sexually assaulting a teen has bonded out of jail, as the alleged victim and her mother speak about the attack.
Those who know 22-year-old Tae Kwon Do instructor Anthony Columna say he is kind and polite, and is always willing to spend extra time with his Tae Kwon Do students.
However, Columna now stands accused of engaging in sexual activity with at least one 13-year-old student over the past year.
The alleged victim said on one occasion, Columna took her to his home and attempted to have sex with her. "I was nervous and I was shocked. I didn't know what to do, and I pushed him off, but he gave me this aggressive [expletive], and I didn't want to do anything else from there, because I didn't want to be hurt," said the victim, who mentioned she was just 13 years old at the time of the attack.
She is now 14. "I couldn't believe it. I said, 'How come this is the teacher of my kids? This is the one that tells them, 'Don't let anybody touch you, never be in places by yourself,''" said the alleged victim's mother, who fears her daughter may not be alone.
According to the alleged victim, she initially hid what occurred with Columna from her mother "because at the moment, we had a lot of family issues, and I didn't want her to be over-stressed with everything else she was going through."
Pembroke Pines Police said they recorded a conversation between the 14-year-old and Columna. According to authorities, during that conversation, Columna talked about having had sex with the alleged victim.
On Thursday, Columna was arrested at Sang's Martial Arts Academy in Pembroke Pines, where he taught Tae Kwon Do.
The alleged victim's mother cautioned all parents to make sure they keep a close eye on what their children do. "The parents can go through all their [children's] Facebook [posts]. They have to get involved in that: their Facebook, their text messages. They have to be aware of their friends. We can't think that they're adults, and [say], 'I wanna give them their space.' No. You can't give them any space until they're adults and until they are mature [enough] to know what they're doing," she said.
Columna appeared in bond court, where a judge ordered his bond to be set at $20,000. He was also ordered to refrain from contacting the alleged victim.
Columna faces nine separate charges. His attorney declined comment.
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