Kalamazoo Township karate teacher ordered to stand trial in sexual assault case

teacherverification December 12, 2013 0

by: Rex Hall Jr

A Kalamazoo Township karate teacher accused of sexually assaulting three teenagers at his dojo was ordered to stand trial Wednesday after he waived an evidentiary hearing in Kalamazoo County District Court.

Robert Earle Keith, 61, is charged with one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The charges against Keith stem from accusations that he inappropriately touched three teenage boys between 2009 and January of this year at his dojo in the 500 block of Nazareth Road.

In obtaining an arrest warrant for Keith in October, Kalamazoo Township Police Detective Mike Szekely testified that after the three teenagers joined Keith’s dojo, Keith approached each of the boys individually “and he said that part of the process of getting your black belts is that you have to join a secret society and part of the secret society is pleasing your master.”

“And part of that would be that you would have to do oral pleasure and oral stimulation …,” Szekely testified.

Szekely also testified that Keith was charged in 1995 with 59 counts of sexual assault by prosecutors in Broward County, Fla., and was later sentenced to nine years in prison. Florida Department of Corrections records show Keith served more than five years before he was paroled in October 2002.

After his release from prison, Keith sought and was granted a transfer of his parole to Michigan.

Keith is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 13 for a pretrial hearing in front of Kalamazoo County Circuit Judge Alexander C. Lipsey.

This article originally appeared on mlive

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