DA: Man Accused Of Molesting Boy Compares Self To Jesus
Judge Bans Eric Protas' Internet Use; Ex-Karate Teacher Remains Free On Bail
6:00 AM, Dec 16, 2010
A former karate teacher charged with sexually molesting a 13-year-old boy will remain free on $800,000 bail.On Thursday morning during a readiness hearing in El Cajon, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney John Philpott tried to convince the judge that Eric Protas is a flight risk and asked the judge to increase bail to $1 million.Philpott said he's concerned the 38-year-old from La Mesa might flee after learning about the prosecution's new evidence. Philpott said authorities seized a journal from the Protas' home computer that he had tried to delete. Philpott said that journal points to Protas' guilt, and added DNA was found on Protas' bedspread."The DNA is sourced to several males. There is no way to know the age of the donor, but we know it does not come back to Mr. Protas and that gives us pause," said Philpott.The judge prohibited Protas from using the Internet, the only exception is when the defendant e-mails his defense team. The prosecutor explained to the judge that they have concerns about Protas' Internet use, specifically his Facebook page."It's common sense that the type of information and other things that Mr.Protas was posting could make its way back to the victim and impact him as a witness," said Philpott.Philpott also said many of the postings were religious references, and added, "The type of things Mr. Protas was posting, among other things, includes asking people to pray for his accuser, pray that the accuser would relent and change his story. Mr. Protas compared himself to Jesus and referred to his accuser as Judas, things as a prosecutor, I thought were offensive."During a preliminary exam in October, the now 14-year-old boy testified that he had sex with Protas 300 times over a period of a year and a half. Protas used to own the Allied Gardens School of Martial Arts, and the boy started going to an after-school program there when he was 5 years old.Protas left court without speaking to reporters. His trial, originally set for January 4, has been pushed back to March 22.