LINDEN—A Linden man who works as a karate instructor was arrested over the weekend and charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and witness tampering, after an investigation revealed he was having a sexual relationship with a now 14-year-old girl, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said.
Humberto Benitez, 39, also works as a computer technician, said Romankow. An investigation was launched several weeks ago when the victim approached a counselor at school with the allegation. The school contacted the victim’s parents and police, said Romankow.
The subsequent investigation revealed that Benitez was friendly with the girl’s family and had started the abuse when the child was 8-years-old, authorities said. Since the allegations were revealed, Benitez allegedly tried to contact the victim through a social networking website and had been seen lurking around the girl’s family’s house, authorities said.
Benitez was arrested at his South Park Avenue house in Linden without incident on Nov. 20. He is being held at the Union County Jail on $250,000 bail.
Romankow commended Sgt. Tom Nugent of the Roselle Police department for his work on the investigation.
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