†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300


††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† *News Release* ††††††††††††††††Date: March 30, 2011








Additional charges filed against karate school owner


Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Highland Park Police Chief Stephen J. Rizco announced today that a karate school teacher, charged earlier this month with improperly touching a 16-year-old girl, has been charged a second time with counts of sexually assaulting two 15-year-old girls.


Joel A. Levy (DOB 8/22/67) of North Third Avenue, Highland Park, was charged on March 29, 2011, after he surrendered to Highland Park police.


He was charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual contact, and two counts of endangering the welfare of the two 15-year-old girls.


He also was charged with a second degree count of sexual assault and a count of criminal sexual contact involving one of the victims.


The new charges were filed after Investigator Daniel Ruschak and Investigator Lisa Collins, both of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office, and Detective Nicole Young of the Highland Park Police Department determined that Levy sexually assaulted the 15-year-old girls on multiple occasions and at various locations during separate incidents.


One of the victims was assaulted on various occasions between October 25, 2009 and January 29, 2010, while the other girl was assaulted on numerous occasions between December 2001 and May 2002.


The investigation began after police learned that the two girls had been victims of Levy.


Levy, owner of The Family Martial Arts Academy, North Third Avenue, Highland Park, also had been employed at New Brunswick High School as a teacher overseeing students serving in-school suspensions. He had worked for the school district since November 2010.


In addition, he has worked as a teacher in Edison, Highland Park, Perth Amboy, Somerset and Franklin Township.


After the new charges were filed, Levy posted $125,000 bail and was released.


He previously was arrested March 10, 2011 on a charge of criminal sexual contact, a fourth degree offense.


In that case, he was accused of improperly touching the 16-year-old girl at his karate school on March 7, 2011.


He subsequently was released after posting $10,000 bail.


Anyone with information on these, or similar incidents, is asked to call Investigator Ruschak of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office at (732) 745-3600, or Detective Young of the Highland Park Police Department at (732) 572-3800.


As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Levy are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.