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Croton Martial Arts Instructor Found Guilty of Sexually Abusing Students

A jury finds the owner and operator of a Croton kung fu studio guilty. He now faces up to seven years in state prison.

A Westchester County jury today found an internationally known kung fu instructor with a studio in Croton guilty of felony sex abuse toward four female victims.

Frank DeMaria, 68, of Van Cortlandt Avenue in Ossining, faces up to seven years in state prison when sentenced on May 8.

His victims told police he "instructed them, on more than one occasion, to grab his penis and to squeeze and pull repeatedly," Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a release.

He was taken into custody after the verdict. 

DeMaria, a former county police officer, was convicted of three counts of second-degree "course of sexual conduct against a child," two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, felonies, and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

The victims, all girls, were abused in incidents that took place between Nov. 1, 2009 and Jan. 6, 2011. DeMaria was arrested Jan. 14 and the studio is no longer open.

"Adults who were observing at the studio initially reported to Croton Police that they saw the defendant take young female students into a corner and observed the defendant’s hips make a gyrating motion," the release said. 

Three additional victims also came forward.

Assistant District Attorney Christine Cervasio and Assistant District Attorney Courtney Johnson of the Special Prosecutions Division prosecuted the case.

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