LI karate teacher accused of sexually abusing girl

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Michael Carretto, of Ronkonkoma, is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl last month. Michael Carretto, of Ronkonkoma, is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl last month.
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A Long Island karate teacher is accused of inappropriately touching a teenage girl.

Michael Carretto, of Ronkonkoma, is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl last month. Prosecutors say the 26-year-old touched the teenage girl's breast and told her he wanted to have sex with her, though authorities tell News 12 Long Island he did not use those exact words.

The incident allegedly happened on Sept. 11, though right now it's not clear exactly where.

Carretto is an instructor at the Dragon Gate Martial Arts Academy on Sunrise Highway in Oakdale. Police say the victim was a student at the karate school.

A judge has issued an order of protection requiring Carretto to stay away from the alleged victim.

News 12 spoke to Carretto's father, who said his son started taking lessons at the school when he was just 4 years old before going on to become an instructor. He says he cannot believe the charges.

"He went through the ranks, became a black belt, now he's a teacher there," he said. "I don't know the whole story. I just found out this morning myself. I can't believe that's something he would do. I guess we will just have to see."

Carretto is employed at the Developmental Disabilities Institute in Smithtown. A spokesperson for the organization says Carretto did pass a background check but has been suspended from his position in light of the charges.

The owner of the karate school insists the incident did not take place at his business.

"We would like to assure the students and their families the allegation made against Carretto did not occur at the school," said owner Michael Iannone. "The safety and well-being of our students is paramount, and there have always been video cameras to help ensure the protection of our students."

The owner of the karate school tells News 12 that Carretto was a volunteer instructor and not a paid employee. He said Carretto was let go from his position.

A judge today ordered Carretto be held on $3,500 bond.

Police are looking for more potential victims. Anyone who might have been a victim is asked to call the Special Victims Section at 631-852-6531.

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