Veteran martial arts instructor is sentenced for molesting 2 girls

Gullett, 48, pleads guilty in Harford Circuit Court

May 09, 2001|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

A veteran martial arts instructor was sentenced yesterday in Harford County Circuit Court to 18 months for sexually abusing two young female students.

William A. Gullett Sr., 46, co-owner of Confidence Studios in Belcamp, was taken to the Harford County Detention Center, where he will be placed in a work-release program. Gullett pleaded guilty in court yesterday after accepting a plea bargain agreement with the Harford County state's attorney's office.

The victims, ages 14 and 15, were molested at Gullett's tae kwon do school and at other Harford County locations between June last year and March, said prosecutor Terri Garland.

"There was a betrayal of trust," said Harford State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly. "He imposed upon that trust."

The victims were not present in the courtroom yesterday, but the mother of one of the girls was. "My daughter is under a doctor's care," the woman told Judge William O. Carr. "Whatever self-esteem she had is gone."

Gullett joined the Army at 17, serving in Germany four years. He later graduated from college and re-enlisted in the Army in 1981 as a lieutenant in the Signal Corps. At the time of his arrest he was a major with top-secret clearance.

Gullett has a wife and three small children and a 25-year-old son from a previous marriage. His attorney, Stanley E. Protokowicz Jr., said Gullett's school will close and he will likely be bankrupt. The family farm near Churchville will also be lost, he said.

The Gullett case is the second involving martial-arts instructors and allegations of sexual abuse within three months in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

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