Former school instructor gets 20 years for sexual battery on girls

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SARASOTA - A former karate instructor arrested by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office for victimizing four students at Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences is headed to prison.

John Garcia pleaded no contest today to two counts of Sexual Battery by a Person in Familial or Custodial Authority and two counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation of a Child 12 Years of Age or Older but Less than 16 Years of Age.

Garcia told the court, “I am sorry, though I know those words are not enough.” He was sentenced to 20 years in Florida State Prison, five years’ probation and was designated a Sexual Predator.

As a convicted sexual predator Garcia will have additional sanctions upon release which restrict where he can live and work and requires mandatory sex offender counseling.

Garcia was initially charged in the case of a 14-year-old girl, but news coverage of his arrest prompted three additional complaints against him stemming from separate crimes that occurred during the 2005-2006 school year when the girls were 12 or 13 years old.