Trial Begins for Co-Defendant in Mitchell's Martial Arts Sexual - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Leah Wright Found Guilty in the Mitchell's Martial Arts Sexual Abuse Case

Posted: 10/24/2017 18:54:00 -04:00 Updated:
Zachariah Justice Bennett and Leah Corinn Wright Zachariah Justice Bennett and Leah Corinn Wright

SALISBURY, Md.- The second day of Leah Wright's trial took place Wednesday morning. After Wright took the stand to testify for nearly an hour and a half, jurors deliberated and found Wright guilty on three accounts of sexual abuse of a minor. But the judge is deferring her sentencing 60 days, following a mental health and sexual offender evaluation.  

Back in August 2016, two Salisbury martial arts instructors were arrested following accusations that they sexually assaulted young students.

The alleged victim took the stand in the Wicomico County Courthouse on Tuedsay, describing in detail the three sexual encounters she had with Wright and the other defendant, 26-year-old Zachariah Justice Bennett, back in 2014 when she was just 14-years-old.

Bennett, of Salisbury, pleaded guilty to sex abuse of a minor back in June 2017. His sentencing is scheduled for November, court records show.

Wright is accused of acting as a lookout for Bennett while he engaged in sexual relations with the victims. She's also accused of acting as a lookout on another occasion, using a cellphone as a warning.

In Tuesday's courtroom testimony, the alleged victim said she started attending Mitchell's Martial Arts when she was 7-years-old.

She said she grew closer to Wright over the next few years, even describing their relationship as close as sisters. So when she went to Wright with questions about intimacy, she trusted the answers.

Both girls worked at the Martial Arts studio together, under the supervision of Bennett. There were no cameras in the rooms in which these sexual encounters took place, according to courtroom testimony.

Melody Mitchell, the owner of Mitchell's Martial Arts, also took the stand Tuesday. She claimed she was not aware that any of these incidents were taking place at her business.

Wright's trial is expected to continue at least through Wednesday.

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