Karate instructor accused of lewd acts to appear in court Thursday

SAN DIEGO - A preliminary hearing is scheduled Thursday for a karate instructor accused of repeatedly molesting two of his teenage students at his Tierrasanta martial arts studio.

Juan Melesio Flores, 38, is charged with 15 felony counts of oral copulation and lewd acts on a child. He was arrested Dec. 19 outside his Z-Ultimate Studio on Tierrasanta Boulevard.

Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick said both the alleged victims were students at the defendant's studio and he had known them for years. The students ranged in age from 15 to 17 when the alleged molestations occurred in 2012 and this year.

The prosecutor said Flores engaged in an "escalation of conduct" with both boys that led to massages and oral copulation.

Flores faces 12 years and three months in prison if convicted, Patrick said.

After Thursday's hearing, a judge will determine if enough evidence was presented for Flores to stand trial.

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