HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Riverview martial arts instructor was arrested for a fourth time Thursday after he inappropriately touched students, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies said 57-year-old Daniel Medina-Alvarez is facing charges of lewd or lascivious molestation. This is the fourth time Medina-Alvarez has been charged with similar offenses, according to the sheriff’s office.
Detectives said multiple victims made several sexual allegations against Medina-Alvarez for inappropriately touching them. Investigators said Medina-Alvarez was the owner of Medina Martial Arts Studio at the time. The studio is now closed.
“Not only did my son go there, but I know this person that this happened to,” Jenny Murray told News Channel 8.
Murray said her oldest son was not abused, but she knows one of the victims and their mom.
“It feels closer than when you’re just reading a story and you’re angered cause you’re saying, ‘Wow it’s horrible’ that they would do it to a child, but now it’s so close to home.”
Even before she learned the serious allegations against the martial arts instructor, Murray decided to stop sending her son to his studio a few years ago.
“I didn’t like the way he spoke to students,” she said. “He was brash. He was not caring at all. My younger son goes to another martial arts place where they are totally different.”
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office first arrested Medina-Alvarez in late September.
After his fourth arrest this week, he faces a total of 24 criminal charges. The vast majority are for inappropriately touching children.
Court records show Medina-Alvarez is also accused of sexual battery on a minor under 12 years old in 2017.
Murray had a message for the multiple victims who have already come forward.
“It’s brave. It’s courageous,” she said. “You’re helping stop this monster from reoffending and destroying lives.”
News Channel 8 reached out to one of the attorneys listed for Medina-Alvarez in court records, but he did not return our call.
“I’m disgusted, this man abused his position as a trusted instructor to prey on innocent victims,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “This suspect knowingly and intentionally victimized his students time and time again. We are working to get these victims and their families peace of mind, justice, and the help or services they might need.”
Investigators said they are looking for others who might have been victimized by Medina-Alvarez.
“I encourage parents to talk to their children. If your child was a student at this Martial Arts studio, please have a conversation with them about this. We believe there might be other victims,” Chronister said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200.