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Instructor gets 10 years in Cambria Hts. molest

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A former martial arts instructor received a 10-year prison sentence Monday for sodomizing a 12-year-old student during classes at his school in Cambria Heights, the Queens district attorney said.

Paul Edwards, 35, of 232-11 Linden Blvd., pleaded guilty to sodomy in the first degree on Sept. 23 before acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Douglas Wong.

He sentenced Edwards to 10 years in prison under the terms and conditions of the plea agreement.

The victim, who sat in the gallery during Monday’s sentencing, called Edwards a “monster” in a statement read in court by Assistant District Attorney Donna Golia.

“I think that you are a weakling and that I am stronger than you in every aspect of life,” wrote the boy, who aspires to one day become a prosecuting attorney. “I want you to know that in 10 years I will be sitting in a corner of this courtroom putting away people like you.”

Initial charges filed in June against Edwards involved sexual abuse of two students at Edwards’ Tae Kwan Do Academy at 201-06 Linden Blvd. in Cambria Heights. Misdemeanor charges against Edwards involving the second boy were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

“The defendant admitted his guilt and acknowledged that he had sodomized one of his students — a 12-year-old boy,” DA Richard Brown said. “The youth was assaulted earlier this year while attending the defendant’s karate school.”

Prosecutors originally charged Edwards, who faced up to 25 years in prison, with sodomy, sexual abuse and forcible touching, and endangering the welfare of a child.

“The young man showed admirable courage by appearing in court before the sentence was pronounced,” Brown said. “He has taken firm steps toward recovery from this ordeal.”

Reach reporter Joe Whalen by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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