Highland Park Karate School Instructor Imprisoned For Sex Assaults

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NEW BRUNSWICK – A Highland Park karate school teacher has been sentenced to a three-year prison term for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, and, in a separate incident, improperly touching another 16-year-old girl, Middlesex County First Assistant Prosecutor Julia L. McClure announced today.

Joel A. Levy, 44, of Highland Park, was ordered to serve the term at the state’s Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center for sex offenders in the Avenel section of Woodbridge after he was determined to be a repetitive and compulsive sex offender.

During a court hearing before Superior Court Judge Diane Pincus in New Brunswick, Levy also was ordered to register as a Megan’s Law offender, and was placed on parole supervision for life.

In addition, he forfeited his teaching certificate, and will be banned from working as a public school teacher in New Jersey. He had been employed at New Brunswick High School, but was dismissed after he was charged with the sex offenses.

The sentence was imposed after Levy pleaded guilty on Sept.1 to one count of sexual assault and one count of criminal sexual contact. Levy knew the teenagers before the assaults occurred.

Levy, owner of The Family Martial Arts Academy on North Third Avenue in Highland Park, had admitted improperly touching one of the teenagers in Highland Park on March 7 and sexually assaulting the other girl while he had a supervisory role over her between November 2009 and January 2010.

Levy pleaded guilty after waiving his right to have the case presented to a grand jury in Middlesex County.

Levy was sentenced in accordance with a plea agreement reached between Middlesex County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christie L. Bevacqua, and Levy’s attorney, Jack Arseneault.

Levy was charged following an investigation by Daniel Ruschak and Lisa Collins, both investigators with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and Detective Nicole Young of the Highland Park Police Department.

In addition to working at his karate school, Levy had been employed at New Brunswick High School as a teacher overseeing students serving in-school suspensions. He had worked for the school district since November 2010.


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