Updated: More Victims In Salisbury Martial Arts Studio Investiga - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: More Victims In Salisbury Martial Arts Studio Investigation

Posted: Updated:
Zachariah Justice Bennett and Leah Corinn Wright Zachariah Justice Bennett and Leah Corinn Wright

SALISBURY, Md.- Two Salisbury martial arts instructors are behind bars following accusations that they sexually assaulted young students, and on Thursday the Wicomico Sheriff's Office said there may be a third suspect.  Sheriff Mike Lewis said three more victims have stepped forward, bringing the total number to six with the possibility of more victims who haven't yet contacted authorities.

Twenty-six-year-old Zachariah Justice Bennett, of Salisbury, is facing 27 charges, including first-degree rape, first-degree sex offense and sex abuse of a minor. His co-defendant, 21-year-old Leah Corinn Wright, of Princess Anne, is facing 21 similar. 

According to charging documents, the alleged incidents happened at Mitchell's Martial Arts in Salisbury, beginning in August of 2015. The documents show the victims are three teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 15. Mitchell's Martial Arts says Bennett and Wright are no longer employed at the business. 

Court documents obtained by WBOC show Bennett is charged with assaulting three juveniles, and has admitted to having sexual contact with one of them. Bennett is also accused of texting explicit pictures of himself to victims.

Wright is accused of joining in some sex acts with Bennett and a victim, and acting as a lookout on another occasion, using a cellphone as a warning.

Mitchell's Martial Arts issued a statement: "We are aware of the incident, and we take the safety and security of our staff and guests very seriously. We intend to uphold and enforce the highest standard of conduct as we move forward with our business."

Both Bennett and Wright are being held without bond at the Wicomico County Detention Center. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 10 for Bennett, court records show.

This marks the second time in five years that an instructor at Mitchell's Martial Arts has faced charges in connection with a minor. In 2011, 
45-year-old David M. Gunzburg was charged, and eventually convicted, of sexual solicitation of a minor after he solicited an undercover officer he believed was a 13-year-old girl. 

The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office is encouraging potential victims to come forward and seek assistance by contacting the Wicomico Child Advocacy Center. 

Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices