New Jersey

NJ Martial Arts Instructor Accused of Sexually Assaulting Girl, 13: Prosecutor

A New Jersey martial arts instructor has been arrested on charges he sexually assaulted a girl multiple times inside a studio he co-owns, authorities say.

George Mendoza-Valentino, 27, of Saddle Brook, had inappropriate sexual relations with a 13-year-old student at the ATA Academy in Springfield, according to the Union County prosecutor. 

Authorities said he also sent the girl explicit video and photos, and asked her to send some in return. 

Mendoza-Valentino was arrested in the studio on Morris Avenue Thursday night, and charged with second-degree sexual assault and child endangerment. 

The martial arts studio, which teaches both children and adults, was closed Friday, and a note on the door stated it would reopen Monday. A posting on its Facebook page said classes were canceled due to "an emergency situation." 

Calls and emails to the studio were not immediately returned. 

Mendoza-Valentino remains in jail on $125,000 bail. Attorney information wasn't immediately available. 

Springfield police are concerned about other potential victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact them. 

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