Three young women who say they were sexually abused by a Taekwondo instructor during trips to tournaments sued the man Thursday, along with various martial arts entities and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
In a separate criminal case, the Taekwondo teacher Monday was sentenced to prison for sexually abusing two underage female students.
The new civil lawsuit was filed Thursday by Taekwondo students Kendra Gatt, Brianna Gordon and Yazmin Brown in Los Angeles Superior Court. Their names were purposely included in the legal action as they wanted to go public with their case, according to their attorney.
The civil complaint states that instructor Marc Scott Gitelman “sexually abused and molested” the students from 2007 until his August 2014 arrest.
The suit alleges assault and battery, negligence and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Stephen Estey said all of the girls were minors at the time of the alleged abuses.
Gitelman “openly carried on relationships with each plaintiff and his relationship with each plaintiff was common knowledge throughout the sport of Taekwondo,” the suit states.
The abuses began at events sponsored and promoted by the USOC, the California Unified Taekwondo Association, the NV Taekwondo Training and Fitness Center — which Gitelman either owned or worked for as an employee — and other athletic associations, the suit states.
A representative for NV Taekwondo could not be immediately reached.
Gitelman gave all three plaintiffs liquor before sexually molesting them on separate occasions in hotel rooms in 2008 and 2010 and in a dormitory room in 2011, the suit states. All three women competed in events in Industry and one also took part in competition in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the suit states.
Gitelman was sentenced to four years, four months in prison Monday for sexually abusing two underage female students.
Pomona Superior Court Judge Bruce Marrs also ordered the 50-year-old Gitelman, of Las Vegas, to register as a sex offender for life.
Gitelman was convicted Sept. 8 of one felony count each of unlawful sexual intercourse, oral copulation with a person under 18 and committing a lewd act on a child.
The crimes occurred in Los Angeles County in May 2010 and September and October of 2011. He also traveled with students to tournaments throughout California and Nevada between 2007 and 2013.
Estey said the two victims in the criminal case also are plaintiffs in the civil suit.
— Wire reports