A Cook County Taekwondo instructor, Asad Umrani, has been charged for sexually abusing a minor girl while she attended his classes over a period of five years. However, his crime went unreported until the girl spoke about the repeated sexual abuses she suffered at his hands. The 36-year-old instructor was arrested on Wednesday and was slapped with multiple charges of felony and sexual abuse on Thursday.
This is not the first time that such allegations have been leveled against Umrani. He has at least two similar pending cases of sexual abuse against his students. However, given the severity of his crimes this time, and he could end up serving a long prison sentence.
Preying on Students
Umrani targeted the eight-year-old child after she enrolled herself at the Woori Taekwondo & Hapkido Academy. He is said to have regularly asked her to perform certain stretches so that he could sexually abuse her. He continued to abuse the girl while she attended his class between 2011 and 2016. However, she was afraid to share her ordeal with anyone.
According to the prosecutors, Umrani would raise her legs and pop it on an object or would make her bend at the waist in a specific way. As the kid stretched, he would press himself against her or touch her inappropriately over her clothes.
However, the girl finally spoke up earlier this month following which police took him into custody on Wednesday. After interrogation, he was charged with felony aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the Cook County state's attorney's office.
Nightmares Lead Victim to Speak Up
Prosecutors said that the girl, although in her late teens now, did not speak up about her experiences earlier. It was only in March this year when she started having nightmares about Usmani inappropriately touching her after that she confided about the sexual abuse to her mother and a school counselor.
In fact, on one particular occasion last year, when the girl and her brother showed up at the Taekwondo academy and anticipated another bout of abuse, she broke down after Umrani pulled her aside. Prosecutors said that Umrani at that time had tried to tell her that it was not his intention to hurt her.
The 36-year-old is now in custody at the Cook County Jail and will appear in court on July 23. His bail has been set at $20,000. However, Umrani is a repeat offender and has preyed on minors prior to his recent offenses. He also has two cases pending based similar allegations of sexual abuse against minor students in his academy.