New York City, NY (The New York Post) – A Manhattan karate instructor has been charged with sexually abusing five young girls in his studio — nearly 20 years after he was arrested for preying on another child, police said Sunday.
Hector Bencosme, 57, was arrested Saturday for molesting five of his female students — all between 10 and 14-years-old — inside the basement facility on Post Avenue near Academy Street in Inwood, police said.
The Upper West Side resident told his victims he needed to evaluate their bodies — then inappropriately touched them and photographed them topless over a two-month period, a police source told The Post.
He allegedly massaged the girls and told them they needed to lose weight. He also photographed them topless and saved the photographs on his cell phone, a source said.
On one occasion, Bencosme massaged a student’s bare breasts, a police source said. In another instance, he rubbed his genitals against a victim’s buttocks, the source added.
The karate instructor was busted after a student who was using his phone observed some of the explicit pictures and reported them, the source said.
He was hit Saturday evening with a slew of charges including criminal sex act, aggravated sex abuse, and possession of an obscene sexual performance by a child.
This is not Bencosme’s first brush with the law.
He was arrested in Jan. 2000 for sexually abusing a Washington Heights child.
Bencosme posted bail and fled to his native Dominican Republic, relatives said at the time.
He was re-arrested in that case in 2003 after returning to the US and setting up a tae kwon do school on West 159th Street.
It was not immediately clear if Bencosme was convicted in the 2003 case.