CRIME
06/21/2016 06:19 pm ET Updated Jun 22, 2016

Karate Instructor Accused Of Soliciting 11-Year-Old Student For Sex

Stephannie Figueroa, 21, was arrested after police say she pursued the boy for four months with nude photos and propositions.

A Florida karate instructor has been accused of sending more than a dozen nude photos to an 11-year-old student and propositioning him for sex.

Stephannie Figueroa, who turned 21 on Sunday, was arrested last week after police in Orlando, Florida, said the child’s mother discovered a series of lewd messages on her son's cellphone that appeared to have been written by Figueroa. She was charged with attempted lewd or lascivious conduct, solicitation and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, showing a minor obscene material, and child abuse, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Figueroa told the boy that she couldn't wait for another sleepover at the Next-Gen Xtreme Martial Arts school so she could have sex with him “in a hard way,” according to an arrest report obtained by WFTV.

Figueroa, who police said is an instructor at the school, also allegedly invited the boy to her 21st birthday party, and told him no one else would be at her home, according to the Sentinel. In a related message, sent through the Kik Messenger app, Figueroa allegedly told him: "I want to have sex with you.”

The boy responded with: "OK IDC (I don't care)."

Stephannie Figueroa, 21, is accused of propositioning an 11-year-old boy for sex.
Orlando Police Department
Stephannie Figueroa, 21, is accused of propositioning an 11-year-old boy for sex.

The boy told police that Figueroa’s sexual advances began in February and included her sending him about 15 nude or partially nude photos of herself. At one time, while they were alone, he said she slid her hand on his thigh, but he asked her to stop and she did, the Sentinel reported, citing the arrest report.

The child's mother found the messages on June 15. 

The karate school owner, who didn't want to be identified, told a WFTV reporter that he's hired an attorney. He said the allegations against Figueroa aren't true.

Figueroa previously taught at the nearby Florida Sports Martial Arts Academy, police said. Investigators were trying to determine whether there are more victims.

A man who said he is a co-owner at that academy told The Huffington Post that Figueroa was never an instructor there, but trained at the school about four or five years ago.

“I’ve been here a long time, and she just came here and trained with one of the instructors a long time ago, and then she leaves,” said the man, who identified himself only by his first name, Matt. He said Figueroa never worked with students and never caused any issues.

A GoFundMe account called “Justice for Stephannie” sought to raise $4,000 for Figueroa, but was shut down for violating the site's terms of use. 

One invalid use of the site is defending or supporting anyone alleged to be involved in criminal activity. GoFundMe has refunded the $15 that were raised off the page, a spokesman told HuffPost. 

The GoFundMe site previously showcased Figueroa's martial arts talents, but did not address the charges against her.

"For those of you who know Stephannie she has always been a kind hearted girl always looking to please everyone and to help whoever's in need," the page read. "She is also a very hard worker and always does her best when she is working. But right now she is in danger and needs your help.”

Requests for comment from the GoFundMe page creator, as well as Figueroa, Next-Gen Xtreme Martial Arts and the Orlando Police Department were not returned Tuesday.

This story has been updated to indicate that the GoFundMe account has been removed. 

HuffPost

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