GA Molester Is Still Teaching Martial Arts.

.jpg photo of victims of Child Sex Abuse by Coach
Seven former Taekwondo Junior Olympic medalists, alleging years of sexual abuse by their coach

CNN – Seven former Taekwondo Junior Olympic medalists, alleging years of sexual abuse by their coach who they say molested them as they traveled around the world to compete, are suing tournament organizers. The men are also suing their former instructor, Craig Peeples, who still coaches at a martial arts school he operates in the coastal town of Kingsland, Georgia.

The lawsuit goes after the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), one of the largest youth sports organizations in the country, Pak’s Karate Academy and USA Taekwondo (USAT), which is part of the U.S. Olympic Committee, for allowing Peeples to continue entering tournaments with children to this day, even after law enforcement in Georgia found “sufficient evidence” to move forward with criminal charges.

State officials say no criminal charges could be filed in the case because of the statute of limitations.

“The karate school is still open, and he’s still getting new kids to go out there,” one of the alleged victims, Christopher Brazell, told CNN in an interview. “(Parents) should know who they are taking their kid to. Just because the criminal statute of limitations has run out doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”

The alleged abuse

All seven of the alleged victims were top competitors, prodigies in Taekwando, racking up Junior Olympic medals and state, national and even international titles.

“(Peeples) was who you went to if you wanted to be an Olympic level or Junior Olympic level athlete,” said another of the men, Justin Conway. “We all were at state championships … Olympic training centers, the U.S. Cup. How could you say anything about somebody who was so respected and so trusted? Who would believe you?”

The men say Peeples sexually assaulted them when they were in their teens — varying in age from 12 to 16 — from 1989 to 2000.

It happened during sleepovers at Peeples’ home, at Pak’s Karate and during tournaments on the road with Peeples often plying them with alcohol, showing them porn and then later giving them gifts and money, they said in interviews with CNN and in the lawsuit.

They recalled how the abuse often happened in group settings — a letter from the district attorney described incidents occurring “with as many as six or seven boys of similar age in the room at the same time.”

All the while, their lawsuit says, Peeples would manipulate them, saying things to keep them from telling others what was happening.
“Peeples told Plaintiffs that his acts of sexual abuse were ‘just something guys do.’ … that they ‘would be grateful’ to him ‘for showing [them]…’ ” the lawsuit says.

“I thought there was something wrong with me. That’s how it was. That’s what you did,” Christopher Garwood said.

In such a high level of competition, they spent almost every waking moment with Peeples, traveling to California, Colorado, South Carolina, Florida and even the United Kingdom.

“Your idol, the guy that seems to have given you so much, is at the same time abusing you,” Brazell said. The men eventually taught Taekwondo at Pak’s Karate Academy as well.

Song Ki Pak, the owner of Pak’s Karate, which has multiple locations in the area, says he considers himself independent from Peeples, who pays him training and certificate fees.

Peeples’ attorney, Gary Baker, told CNN the allegations are false, isolated complaints from more than a decade ago, and that the men filing suit are disgruntled former instructors. He said Peeples plans to file a countersuit for slander.

“How is it that with all of this publicity and the thousands of students who have gone through that school, not one person has come forward and said, ‘Oh yes, me too?’ ” Baker said. “It’s finally an opportunity for us to prove that it’s all made up, false and an attempt to gain money. I’d rather it be tried in court than in the court of public opinion, which is the only thing that’s happened so far.”

AAU and USAT have not responded to CNN’s requests for comment.
The investigation

The civil suit was the first to be filed in Georgia under its new Hidden Predator Act, which expanded the civil statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse.

Several of these men, alongside their attorney Marci Hamilton, were instrumental in passing that act, even holding a news conference in the Georgia Capitol Rotunda in 2014, trying to draw attention and change the law.

After months of speaking out, they were finally successful, and the law allowing them to sue was signed March 16.

“We are hopeful,” said another alleged victim, Steven Hood. “I think it was a great step forward for the Hidden Predator Act, that was a big win and I think there’s still a long way to go, but I’m hopeful anyway.” There can be no criminal charges at the state level because too much time has passed.

In 2014, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigated the men’s claims and the Camden County District Attorney wrote a letter saying there was “sufficient evidence” of sodomy and child molestation but that the seven-year criminal statute of limitations in Georgia had run out for all of the victims, making it impossible for her to proceed with a criminal case.

Jackie Johnson, the district attorney for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, ended the letter with a plea for new evidence, saying, “any new evidence or witnesses coming forward could potentially affect our ability to proceed with criminal charges in this case.”

But so far, no one else has come forward. And the men, all but one who still live in the Kingsland, Georgia, area about 35 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida, say the community has not reacted the way they’d have hoped.

Instead of shunning Peeples, parents continue to send their children to Pak’s Karate; Peeples drives a bus to pick up elementary school kids and bring them to lessons. He even participates in town parades.

“It’s disappointing, it’s hurtful,” said one of the men, Steven Tann. “We’re out there trying to make sure kids aren’t getting hurt, and it’s like people don’t care or don’t believe us. It’s embarrassing that we even have to say this stuff, but it’s even more embarrassing that people don’t believe us.”

Continuing to coach

During the time these men allege abuse, the AAU was being run by Bobby Dodd, who was accused in 2011 of sexually molesting two players who came forward on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

The AAU contacted police, who investigated, but no charges were filed. Dodd resigned. Dodd’s attorney did not respond to CNN’s request for comment, but he has previously called the accusations “unsubstantiated, salacious allegations.”

Lauren Book, a Florida advocate who runs an organization fighting child sex abuse, says the AAU had no systems in place to protect children until she was called in to help after Dodd’s resignation. Even more shocking, she said, culturally, nothing seems to have changed.

“We were told and promised that these policies and procedures would be adopted and the culture at AAU would change. It’s clear what was existing here … you have an organization that seeks to protect its prestige and coaches over the lives of children,” Book said.

The AAU, which describes itself as “one of the most respected and oldest youth amateur organizations in the United States,” has been criticized for not properly dealing with coaches caught having inappropriate relationships with athletes. Most recently, it was criticized in an ESPN report for allowing a volleyball coach banned by USA Volleyball to continue with the AAU.

“I think the AAU is an organization that puts sports first and protection 3 or 4 or 5 down the line, which is a really scary thing,” Book said. “… It’s a volunteer organization. You don’t have the right to be there.”

8 thoughts on “GA Molester Is Still Teaching Martial Arts.”

  1. What a deranged mind tho have a person saying to Plaintiffs that his “acts of sexual abuse were ‘just something guys do”?

    How does it come that those who teach do not have to present a clear slate of conduct? In Belgium any person wanting to teach or to work with children, has to undergo a security screening by the police office. even with the slightest question or doubt he will not receive a “go”.

  2. People also should demand that sexual misconduct may be penalised until 30 years later. Though we always must be very careful for false accusations.

    In this case having “sufficient evidence of sodomy and child molestation” but that the seven-year criminal statute of limitations in Georgia had run out for all of the victims, may make it impossible for her to proceed with a criminal case but at least it should be able to stop this person teaching and misusing his power over others.

    1. Dear Mr. Ampe, I was looking into this racial thing we are having, and I came across “Black Codes”, these aren’t even a product of our country, but as I read I knew that people who were excaping slavery and the Church of England, didn’t excape anything, everything just continued on from europe.
      Marcus, why was the Catholic Bible rewritten again after TheKJV was released, which had been used by GOD fearing men before The King James Version Bible was translated. I came across the quiet by accident in old archives, and I believe more than one was redone. Please educate me.
      I send all Good Things always, to you and The Bible Students,
      You all are always named in my prayers,

      1. The Bible has never been rewritten. It has been translated more than once and is still being translated in many languages. Where do you get it that the KJV would have been used by God fearing man even before it came into translation?
        Also do you still use the KJV and use such a language? In case you think the KJV is the only true Bible why would God not have given all people to speak English and why do we not speak the same than, even not in English?

        And by the way I am not a Catholic. Do you also know Catholics like many protestants even do not follow what is written in the Bible and have three gods instead the Only One True God of Israel?

        I only worship One God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus Christ and his disciples and follow the infallible Word of God which is given in many tongue to the world. Though many tried to destroy it they did never succeed.

        Please take in mind and for sure you use this translation because you think this the only right one, which would mean you do not use an other version nor an other translation (good you speak English, but poor people who can not understand English and as such are deprived of the Word of God, according to your thinking):

        John 4:24 KJV-1611 God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit, and in trueth.
        Deuteronomy 6:1-6 KJV-1611 (1) Now these are the Commaundements, the Statutes, & the Iudgements, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might doe them in the land whither ye goe to possesse it: (2) That thou mightest feare the Lord thy God, to keepe all his Statutes, and his Commandements which I command thee; thou, and thy sonne, and thy sonnes sonne, all the dayes of thy life: and that thy dayes may be prolonged. (3) Heare therefore, O Israel, and obserue to do it, that it may be wel with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milke and hony. (4) Heare, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. (5) And thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soule, and with all thy might. (6) And these words which I command thee this day, shall bee in thine heart.

        2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV-1611 (16) All Scripture is giuen by inspiration of God, & is profitable for doctrine, for reproofe, for correction, for instrution in righteousnesse, (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished vnto all good workes.

        2 Peter 1:20-21 KJV-1611 (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any priuate Interpretation: (21) For the prophecie came not in olde time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moued by the holy Ghost.

      2. Mr. Ampe, Thank You for your spirited reply. Since our initial meeting, the thought of how I would have so enjoyed sitting in your lectures as a young student.
        Although I would have had to guard and cloak my facial expressions at certain times. I must admit that I enjoy, just a tiny bit:), when you bristle, then start digging in.
        This in itself has opened my eyes to the fact that my attitude is lacking, in short I am not as joyful as I once was.
        With this latest, greatest setback: This transgender slap in parents faces, there is NO Transgender, it is simply Gender Dysphoria. Anyway, this almost took all the wind out of my sails.I saw what is intended as clear as a picture.
        Almost every bit of good, that has been achieved in protecting Our Children, since the late 1970’s and 1980’s, is almost all voided, or will be.
        The making of these female impersonators is Child Medical Abuse, since these young boys haven’t reached puberty, and are given puberty blockers, then a very large amount of very dangerous drugs so they can impersonate women/young girls.
        Very soon we will begin to see Schools For Wayward Boys, where unknown to the public, young boys will be raped while being given puberty blockers.
        Marcus, this is nothing more than legalizing factories to make Child SEX SLAVES.

        My Dear Mr. Ampe, I know my attitude has slipped, and I do not always use real good grammar, and I do apologize, I will strive to do my very best in the future.
        However, I feel I drew your undue BRISTLING in at least one area, and in fact never said the KJV was used before it existed, as my words bear me witness…
        “Marcus, why was the Catholic Bible rewritten again after TheKJV was released, which had been used by GOD fearing men before The King James Version Bible was translated.”
        Marcus I really don’t think I ever believed you a Catholic, although I have wondered if you perused The Torah.
        In answer to your inquiry, at a very young age, being half Native American, my GrandMother always took me to Mass, and I attended several years. By grade school age I was attending a Baptist Church, and being beaten so I would not be spoiled, due to the ignorance of man.
        My main three Swords I prefer are Douay-Rheims Bible, Biblia Sacra Vulgata, and Scofield Study Bible KJV.
        Mr. Ampe, there is and has always been one GOD.
        I believe that almost all men search the scriptures daily, not to live more as Our GOD intended, and the hate and distrust between all men and all races bear me witness, but what I do believe is that most peruse the Bible in hopes of finding the holy grail or the golden fleece in a manner of speaking.
        Otherwise the fear of death would not be shared by such a large percentage of men, which is due to the life they lived and their treatment of others.
        There is NO perfect Race of people, and there is as there always has been almost no other form of Love in this world other than EROS.
        May Our GOD Bless You and The Bible Students, and ALL Your Work,

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