Martial arts studio responds to allegations against instructor who had sex with underage student

EDGEWATER, Md. - The martial arts studio that employed Jason Webb, an instructor accused of having sex with an underage student , issued a series of answers and a statement from Master Tommy Lee regarding the allegations of abuse that Webb faces.

The studio confirmed that all East Coast Martial Arts Studio locations are monitored with video cameras and that there are multiple instructors on the floor with students during classes. 

The "facts & answers to common questions" document was issued by spokeswoman Sheila Stewart Wednesday night. 

Webb was employed as a part-time instructor for the studio from 2006 to 2013, according to Stewart. Additionally, Webb completed a background check that revealed no prior felonies or arrests. 

"ECMA will be hosting a Parent’s Night to provide them with the education and details of policies that are in place to ensure the safety of children while at the facility," Stewart writes in the statement. 

Webb, 26, turned himself in to police on Feb. 20. He was charged with child abuse, sex abuse of a minor, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses and second-degree assault in relation to the incident. According to charging documents, Webb had been carrying on a relationship with a 14-year-old girl since July 2013. 

“As martial artists and martial arts instructors, we have a greater responsibility than merely perfecting our art and sharing that art with our students," Tommy Lee, owner of East Coast Martial Arts Studios, said.  "We are warriors that do the right thing and protect those entrusted to us.  We are placed in a powerful position that at East Coast Martial Arts Studio we do not take lightly. 

"Jason Webb was a part-time instructor with East Coast Martial Arts Studio for 7 years.  He passed pre-hire qualifications including a background check, which is our studio’s policy.  Mr. Webb himself was a student at the center when he was a child."

Lee fired Webb in October after allegations of abuse came to light in October. 

"I take great pride in the reputation that we have built over the past twenty years and my first priority is to ensure the safety of our students," Lee said. "We spend a significant amount of time focusing on supporting our community and have raised tens of thousands of dollars for six local public schools in addition to securing donations for equipment and supplies for area schools."

Lee said details of the parents night would be released to parents Thursday. 

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