Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Charter School Faces Suit

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Charter School Faces Suit

Article excerpt

COURTS: Former student alleges karate teacher sexually assaulted her

SARASOTA

A former student who was allegedly sexually assaulted by her karate teacher is suing a Sarasota charter school.

The lawsuit says that the Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences was negligent in hiring and supervising the teacher, John R. Garcia, 47, and did not do enough to protect students from him.

Garcia, who has been accused of sexually abusing three other girls who attended the school, is facing nine criminal sexual charges. He is scheduled to stand trial next spring in front of Sarasota County Circuit Judge Charles Roberts, records show.

The lawsuit says Garcia had the woman, who was 14 years old at the time, stay in the classroom after the other students were dismissed one day in April or May of 2005.

He locked the door and had sex with her, the Sarasota County woman alleged.

The lawsuit also says the woman suffered traumatic amnesia and did not remember what happened until years later. …

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