Karate School Owner Charged With Criminal Sexual Contact

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The Middlesex County Prosector's Office released this photo of Joel A. Levy, who is accused of improperly touching a 16-year-old girl at his karate school in Highland Park

HIGHLAND PARK — That the owner of a Highland Park karate school has been arrested and charged with improperly touching a 16-year-old girl at the school, Middlesex County First Assistant Prosecutor Julia McClure and Highland Park Police Chief Stephen J. Rizco announced today.

Joel A. Levy, 43, was arrested last night at about 7:15 p.m. at The Family Martial Arts Academy on North Fourth Avenue. He was charged with one count of criminal sexual contact, a fourth-degree offense, authorities said. Levy was released from custody after posting $10,000 bail.

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An investigation by Detective Nicole Young of the Highland Park Police Department and Investigator Daniel Ruschak of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office alleges that Levy improperly touched the 16-year-old girl at his karate school on March 7, authorities said.

Levy is also employed at New Brunswick High School as a teacher overseeing students serving in-school suspensions and has worked for the school district since November 2010, authorities said. School board attorney George Hendricks said the board intends to suspend Levy.

The charge against Levy is merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Authorities are asking anyone with information on this, or similar incidents, to call Detective Young of the Highland Park Police Department at 1-732-572-3800, or Investigator Ruschak of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-732-745-3600.


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