An instructor at the John Emmons Taekwondo Academy in St. Cloud has been arrested on accusation involving multiple incidents of sexual abuse against children under 16.
St. Cloud Police arrested John Thomas Durinick, 39, on charges of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor, and lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor. Apparently, Mr. Durinick has been carrying on inappropriate relationships with two different 15-year old taekwondo students for about 18 months. Mr. Durinick was also charged with false imprisonment after one of the girls tried to flee his advances and he allegedly trapped her inside the martial arts school. Police believe that the majority of the abuse occurred at the school.
It will be interesting to see how this story develops. As a parent of children who are very involved in sports and other extracurricular activities, I want to believe that it is not true, and that an adult mentor or instructor would not take advantage of a child in such a way. I am curious about what kind of background check was done regarding Mr. Durinick, and what kind of reference checks took place. Similarly, I want to know what kind of supervision Mr. Durinick and these girls were under if these abusive acts took place over an 18 month period.
In our experience, there are almost always “warning signs” in these cases that something was wrong. Unfortunately, many times it is in hindsight, too late, that all of the signs add up.