Karate instructor charged with sexually assaulting student - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Karate instructor charged with sexually assaulting student

Michael Shimabukuro Michael Shimabukuro
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The founder of the Hawaii Karate Association is scheduled to appear before a judge next Tuesday after being charged with molesting one of his teenaged students.

Michael Shimabukuro, 31, is charged with one count of first-degree sex assault and one count of third-degree sex assault. He's free after posting $250,000 bail.

The sex assaults allegedly took place at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii in Moiliili. The center says it has since parted ways with the suspect and his martial arts school.

Shimabukuro is a certified instructor and a former national champion, according to the Hawaii Karate Association's web site. He taught classes in a dojo at the Japanese Cultural Center until October of last year.

The Moanalua resident surrendered to police Wednesday afternoon.

A 17-year-old boy told investigators his karate sensei sexually assaulted him over a two-year period. Sources say the suspect was also accused of serving alcohol to his underage students during sleep-overs at the center.

"The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii is deeply saddened and concerned in regards to the alleged incident involving a karate instructor and a student," the center said in a written statement. "In a mutual agreement, Michael Shimabukuro Sensei and Hawaii Karate Association are no longer tenants of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii."

Center officials say they are cooperating with the police investigation.

The suspect's attorney did not return our phone call.

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