Karate Instructor Accused of Child Molestation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego

    A La Mesa karate instructor has been arrested, accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy.

    As investigators look into whether there are other potential victims, the instructor’s brother calls the accusations baseless.

    La Mesa Police say 38-year-old Eric Protas sexually abused the boy over a one-year period.

    The victim was a student at Protas’ karate studio, the Allied Gardens School of Martial Arts on Waring Road.

    Protas' brother who told us the allegations are "pure retaliation" from a former student who was kicked out of his brother's school.

    Ben Protas says he and his brother have known the student and his mother for many years and believes the mother made the false allegations without realizing how badly it would hurt his brother.

    The suspect’s brother said he believes the charges will be dropped.

    Eric Protas has been booked in San Diego County jail on four charges including oral copulation and sodomy with a minor.

    He's being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

    If you have any information on this case, please call the Detective Jason Sieckman at (619) 667-1439.