Police: Montgomery Co. karate instructor sexually assaulted 15-year-old student

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County police arrested a karate instructor they say inappropriately touched one of his 15-year-old students.

Police arrested Frank Yul Pugarita Monday. (Courtesy Montgomery County police)

Police arrested 54-year-old Frank Yul Pugarita Monday after police say he had inappropriate contact with a 15-year-old girl who was his student at the Pugarita Karate studio located at 8945 North Westland Dr. in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

The girl told police that the touching happened sometime between January 2017 and June 2017 during lessons at the studio.

“It wasn’t something that occurred repeatedly — [January to June] was the time reference the victim gave,” said Officer Rick Goodale, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Police Department.

Pugarita was an instructor at the studio, which he owned for about 10 years, police said.

He is being charged with one count of sex abuse of a minor and one count of fourth-degree sex offense.

Investigators said they believe there may be additional victims, and are asking “parents of karate students who may have had contact with Pugarita talk to their children about their interactions with him” and call police at 240-773-5400 if they believe their child was victimized.

Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

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