Martial Arts Instructor Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing Teenag - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Martial Arts Instructor Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing Teenage Girl

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Zachariah Justice Bennett Zachariah Justice Bennett
Zachariah Justice Bennett and Leah Corinn Wright Zachariah Justice Bennett and Leah Corinn Wright

WORCESTER COUNTY, Md. – A martial arts instructor accused of sexually abusing several teenage students pleaded guilty in a case surrounding one of those students Tuesday morning.

Zach Bennett, 26, faced five felony charges including sex abuse of a minor after prosecutors say he sexually assaulted a teenage girl, who was also one of his students, at the Jolly Rogers Amusement Park in Ocean city last August.

As part of the plea agreement, four of the five charges were dropped with the exception of the biggest charge of sex abuse of a minor.

The Worcester County State’s Attorney’s office would not comment on Friday’s guilty plea, stating the case is still considered open due to the fact Bennett faces more charges surrounding other victims in Wicomico County.

However, it did say Bennett plans to plead guilty in the Wicomico County case.

In that case, Bennett is accused of sexually assaulting three other female students between the ages of 13 and 15 inside Mitchell’s Martial Arts Studio in Salisbury.

His co-defendant, 21-year-old Leah Corinn Wright, of Princess Anne, is facing 21 similar charges.

According to charging documents, the alleged incidents happened at the martial arts studio beginning in August of 2015. Mitchell's Martial Arts says Bennett and Wright are no longer employed at the business. 

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.

The trial is expected to begin in Wicomico County on Wednesday

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