Westchester Kung Fu Master Gets 7 Years in Sex-Abuse Case

Prosecutors said four girls aged 6 to 11 reported that Frank DeMaria had them grab, squeeze and pull on his genitals during lessons

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    Frank DeMaria

    A kung fu grandmaster and retired police officer convicted of sexually abusing girls during martial arts lessons was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison.

    Frank DeMaria, of Ossining, will also have to register as a sex offender once he gets out of prison.

    The 68-year-old DeMaria was convicted in February on charges of sexual abuse, sexual conduct with children and endangering children.

    Four girls ages 6 to 11 said DeMaria had them grab and pull his genitals during lessons at his school, the American Center of Chinese Studies, in Croton-on-Hudson from 2009 to 2011.

    DeMaria, a retired Westchester County police officer, testified that he told students to kick and slap an attacker's groin in a maneuver called the tiger claw but didn't have them fondle him.

    DeMaria came to the attention of authorities when adult students reported he was "gyrating" during a girl's lesson, the district attorney's office said.

    Defense lawyer Andrew Quinn said after the sentencing that he has "a tremendous amount of misgivings" about the verdict. An appeal is expected.

    Quinn asked Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli to be lenient, citing DeMaria's age. But she imposed the maximum sentence.

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