TWINSBURG, Ohio (WJW)– Authorities in Summit County continue to investigate sexual assault allegations against a Twinsburg martial arts instructor.
William Mello, 59, of Streetsboro, is charged with two counts of gross sexual imposition.
The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office said Mello, an instructor at the Silent Mind Martial Arts, is accused of inappropriately touching a young girl at the studio.
“We were first notified in September 2019 by Geauga County Family Services,” said Detective Greg Kopniske, with the Twinsburg Police Department.
According to Twinsburg Police, the victim is 11 years old and lives in Geauga County.
“According to the young lady, for the past three years, she has been touched inappropriately on the bottom several times by the suspect. In August of 2019, he inappropriately touched her twice,” said Kopniske.
Police say Mello was the instructor of her father’s class.
“She had suffered an injury and wasn’t able to participate in class. During her father’s class, the suspect would come out in the lobby and that’s where these incidents would take place,” said Kopniske.
FOX 8 spoke to the school’s owner, Tim Loomis, who declined to go on camera. Loomis says Mello was an instructor but never taught any children’s classes.
Mello is no longer an instructor at Silent Mind Martial Arts and the school is fully cooperating with police.
Police say Mello has been ordered to have no contact with the young girl.
He will appear in Summit County Common Pleas Court on Jan. 15.
Meantime, they are asking anyone with information or may know another victim to come forward.
“Kids and adults are taught to give respect to their teacher in that type of setting. When someone allegedly does this type of thing, it can be very confusing and harmful to a young child,” said Kopniske.
Twinsburg police is asking for the public’s help. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Greg Kopniske at 330-425-1234.