RALEIGH — A Raleigh karate instructor is charged with sexually assaulting young children, and it's not the first time James Emory has faced this sort of accusation. In 1994, he was convicted of fondling two karate students.
The latest arrest has angered many people, who want to know why it was allowed to happen again.
The first incident happened in 1992, when two female students, both under the age of 16, were allegedly fondled by Emory. In January of 1994, Emory received a 12-year suspended prison sentence and five years probation. The new charges are emerging from that same time period.
Emory is a karate instructor who holds a black belt. He teaches martial arts to students at Emory Karate Systems at North Market Drive in Raleigh. His studio was closed Wednesday and may remain that way for a while.
Emory was arrested and charged with one count of first degree sex offense and five counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor.
At Griffins Restaurant, the news came as a complete shock.
"He comes in every morning," said restaurant manager Marie Layton. "He eats breakfast. He's a really nice guy. I mean it was really a shock to hear about this."
The charges against Emory have caused other karate instructors, such as Kathy Olevsky, to advise parents on using more scrutiny in choosing a studio.
"If you're a parent and you're looking for a facility, you should search for certain things just as you would a day care center, Boy Scout or Brownie troop," said Olevsky.
Raleigh Police Lt. Dennis Lane advises parents to periodically talk to their children about what's going on in the places they frequent.
"Make sure there's no inappropriate touching or comments that's taking place between the adults and children," said Lane.
"We just want the folks in the community to know the martial arts provide wonderful things, particularly to children. They build self-esteem and confidence," said Olevsky.
Under the conditions of a five year probation, Emory was ordered to seek psychiatric assessment and to quit teaching karate to children. However, his current ad in the yellow pages reads, "As a courtesy, the children of active adult students train free." The Police also advise parents of children who are already enrolled in Emory's classes to call them if they suspect any wrongdoing.