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California

Judge sends taekwondo instructor to prison for sexually abusing girls

A taekwondo instructor was sentenced Monday to more than four years in state prison after a Pomona jury convicted him of sexually abusing children.

Marc Scott Gitelman, 50, was also ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender, according to the sentence handed down by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Bruce Marrs.

Gitelman taught students at community centers in the Las Vegas area as well as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, according to the L.A. County district attorney’s office.

He also traveled to various locales across California and Nevada for taekwondo tournaments, and in 2010 and 2011 he traveled to the L.A. area, where he molested two girls between the ages of 15 and 16, prosecutors said.

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The two girls lodged a formal complaint in early 2014 with USA Taekwondo, the governing body overseeing the sport in the U.S., prosecutors said.

Shortly after, those girls and a third victim came forward and informed police of the abuse.

A jury convicted Gitelman on Sept. 8 of multiple felony counts including oral copulation of a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse and lewd actions upon a child, prosecutors said.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

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