Martial arts instructor accused of sexually abusing former students

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A 57-year-old instructor faces several child sexual assault charges for allegedly abusing two former students at Kang’s Taekwondo Academy.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/05/2016 (2462 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A 57-year-old instructor faces several child sexual assault charges for allegedly abusing two former students at Kang’s Taekwondo Academy.

King Yeung was arrested May 4 on charges related to one victim and re-arrested Monday on charges related to a second victim. He faces two counts each of charges of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, sexual interference, corrupting morals and invitation to sexual touching.

Yeung has been remanded in custody. The charges have not been proven in court, and he is presumed innocent.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS King Yeung is grandmaster and chief instructor at Kang’s Taekwondo Academy on McPhillips Street.

The offences involving the first victim, who was 16 years old at the time, allegedly began in April 2009 when the student was enrolled at the taekwondo academy, located at 1021 McPhillips St. Police allege the instructor pursued and developed a personal relationship with the victim and began touching the victim inappropriately.

It is alleged the instructor’s advances increased between 2009 and 2012, were sexual in nature and happened approximately two to three times per week. It is alleged the instructor also sexually assaulted the first victim during a January 2010 trip to Alberta for a taekwondo tournament to which he drove the victim and several other students.

The first victim ended the relationship before contacting police.

The second victim, who recently contacted police, was a student at the academy in 1998 and was under 16 years old when the student was allegedly sexually assaulted by the same instructor over a six-year period.

Yeung is the academy’s grandmaster and chief instructor. He holds an 8th dan (black belt degree).

His biography on its website says he is a former Canadian champion in the fly weight (1979, 1985) and bantam weight (1981) divisions.

He was appointed an assistant instructor at Kang’s in 1983 and master instructor in 1986. In 1989, he opened branches of the academy in Île-des-Chênes, Niverville and in the Parkland region. He has been a provincial coach for national team trials since 1995.

The academy’s website states Kang has 15 locations across Manitoba.

Police did not release information on the genders or current ages of the victims and would not comment on whether there may be other victims yet to come forward.

“These are instances that occurred over a long period of time several years ago,” said Winnipeg police Const. Jason Michalyshen.

“We want individuals or victims of sex crimes to know that as a police agency that we are a resource, we are a support, and as difficult as it is to come forward and report these types of serious matters, we are here to hear them out, take reports and certainly investigate them thoroughly, regardless of how long ago it occurred.”

Michalyshen praised the victims who have come forward.

‘It should be affecting everybody, make us think twice and make us think about the safety of our athletes and our children’– Jae Park, president of Taekwondo Manitoba

“This is not an easy thing to do,” he said.

“We want to support them, provide the resources required and investigate matters like these to the fullest, regardless of whether they occurred yesterday or 10 or 20 years ago. In our eyes, that is irrelevant.”

Michalyshen said circumstances such as these raise concerns across the community, especially among parents and guardians, about what they can do to protect children.

“We always want to do our best to keep those lines of communication open between adults, guardians, parents and young people,” he said.

“These are difficult topics to talk about, but it’s important that if there is that opportunity to share information, when the time is right of course, to engage in those conversations and provide them (children) with the tools, the knowledge as to what to do if they were to find themselves in a situation, not necessarily having to go into specifics.”

Michalyshen said individuals who are victims of sexual assault can feel embarrassment and guilt.

“Victims of sex crimes need to realize that they are truly the victims, we know that, and we’re going to treat them with respect,” he said. “The importance of protecting anonymity and identity, we absolutely understand that and will provide them with all of the support that we can so they can move forward in a positive way.”

Jae Park, president of Taekwondo Manitoba, said Yeung was not a member of the association, so the organization can’t impose any sanctions on him if the charges are proven in court. Despite that, Park said the allegations have prompted many concerned phone calls from Taekwondo Manitoba members and non-members, and the association’s board has ensured policies are in place to safeguard its athletes.

“Obviously, it does affect taekwondo because it does put a little bit of a stain on taekwondo as a sport, but aside from that, from an association’s point of view, we know the allegations exist but we don’t have any details,” he said.

Park said it’s the first time he’d heard of any such allegations against a taekwondo instructor in Manitoba.

“It’s shocking. It’s news to us, but at the end of the day it’d be shocking regardless of whether it’s the taekwondo community or anybody,” he said.

King Yeung

“It should be affecting everybody, make us think twice and make us think about the safety of our athletes and our children.”

The sport will stay strong because Manitoba’s large taekwondo community understands “not to paint everybody with the same brush,” Park said, but he said the association is prepared to offer support to the alleged victims.

“If the allegations are true, then the victims are the victims, and for our part although they’re not members, Taekwondo Manitoba would definitely step up to help any way we can in terms of any type of support that we can add in any way possible and let them know that, hey, you know what, the taekwondo community stands by you and supports you on this.”

The investigation is continuing and anyone with further information is asked to call investigators at 204-986-6245 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

 

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

 

— with files from Katie May

History

Updated on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 12:55 PM CDT: Updates with background info

Updated on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 3:57 PM CDT: Adds photo

Updated on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 6:11 PM CDT: Updates with writethru

Updated on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 7:29 PM CDT: Updates with comment from Manitoba Taekwondo

Updated on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 10:07 PM CDT: Formatting.

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