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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 25, 2010

Karate sensei faces sex charges

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

The founder of a Hawai'i martial arts school was charged last night in connection with the alleged sexual assault of one of his teenage students.

Michael Shimabukuro, 31, of Moanalua was arrested at 4 p.m. yesterday at the main police station on South Beretania Street. He was charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault.

Shimabukuro was released on $250,000 bail at about 7 p.m., police said. He could not be reached for comment last night.

Police said a 17-year-old girl reported being sexually assaulted from May 2008 to July 2008.

The girl told police the assaults occurred at the Japanese Cultural Center in Mō'i- li'ili, where she took karate classes.

The girl said her assailant was her karate instructor. An investigation led police to Shimabukuro, who turned himself in yesterday at the police station.

Shimabukuro founded the Hawaii Karate Association in 2002. He is a fourth-degree black belt and a certified karate instructor, according to the HKA Web site.

He was a USA National Karate-do Federation national champion in 1995 and 1996 and a Junior Olympic champion in 1996, according to the Web site.

CORRECTION: ?The person who accused a martial arts instructor of sexual assault was a 17-year-old boy. Information in a previous version of this story was incorrect.