Trenton karate instructor accused of sexual assault

By: Diane Cho Email
By: Diane Cho Email

News 12 at Six o'clock, July 10, 2007.

Trenton, S.C.---A karate instructor in Edgefield County is accused of inappropriately touching students. 26-year-old Nikki Ray Smith has been arrested and charged with sexual assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct.

According to the "Eye of the Dragon" website, the martial arts school doesn't just teach self-defense, it promotes respect and honor. But some parents say the school has done anything but that. "That isn't at all what these classes are about," said Shawna Raines.

This after allegations the senior instructor, 26-year-old Nikki Ray Smith, had inappropriate contact with his female students. "That just blows my mind," Raines said.

According to the sheriff's office, Smith and his wife Jesselyn operate the martial arts and dance academy off Edgefield Road in Trenton. In the incident report, a child claims Smith grabbed her rear-end a couple weeks ago and looked up her shorts when she was trying to tie her shoes during dance class. Another student says Smith tried to look up her shorts when she was doing sit ups. "This kind of behavior is always a concern," said Cpl. Robbie Harter. Not just for the sheriff's office but also for parents. One mom says she pulled her sons out of the school two months ago after they were complaining they felt uncomfortable at the gym. They didn't give me a reason why they just they're uncomfortable," said Wanda May.

Shawnna Raines says she also pulled her three kids out of the school recently when another student's father told her about seeing the teacher with a sword. "The other boys father caught the instructor standing over both kids with a real sword holding it point down telling them to kick it away," she said.

Now these parents want to know what else may have been going on behind closed doors. "I wanna go to my kids immediately and make sure nothing else happened," she said.

Smith was released on a $15,000 bond but the sheriff's office says more charges could be filed.
News 12 did talk with Jessylyn Smith, the dance instructor and wife of Nikki Smith, who had this to say:

"His friends, family and students are behind him, we know that he's innocent and we'll deal with these charges in court."


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by fm Location: northern ca on Oct 27, 2007 at 10:07 AM
    Jail this fool, so he can enjoy the fruits of his behavior. Arrests are made in these type of cases when the victiums and witnesses are credible. Besides,none of these "peek-a-boo creaps" get caught the first time. Burn in hell Nikki Ray, you [personal attack removed]. My second isuue is with Prof. Martin and his response to this report. Great Instructor? Why because he in in your Org.? Maybe if I knew that before I read this articile it wouldn't have been so emontionally disconserting. Come on Larry, your're just going to miss your association fees. Oh! and Prof. Larry or is it Curly, by you stepping up for this guy makes it seems that you and "Creep Boy" have other than MA interests in common. Creaps attract creaps! If you really believe what you wrote, "someone is trying to cause trouble for Ms. Smith (?) and his dojo." Then just shut-up and let it play out for the real victims here. I say, let's pick up thst sword that's mentioned in this articile and fix the problem once and for all.
  • by Larry S.L. Location: Martin on Jul 15, 2007 at 04:33 PM
    Mr. Smith is a great Instructor he and his wife, they are members of our Org. Shojukempo International Martial Arts Association, please get the story stright before you accuse someone.It tells me that there is somthing wrong here! someone is trying to cause trouble for Ms. Smith and his Dojo. get your story stright. Prof. Larry S.L. Martin Hanshi President Founder, Ceo Shojukempo International Martial Arts Association HQ.
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