A Tampa martial arts instructor has been arrested and charged with having sex with a 12-year-old girl.
- Martial arts instructor arrested
- HCSO: Nelson Ivan Del Valle-Nazario, 33, had sexual contact with a female victim on multiple occasions
- Charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious battery
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Nelson Ivan Del Valle-Nazario, 33, had sex with a female victim on multiple occasions between March 2015 and September 2016.
Authorities said the victim was 12 and 13 years old at the time of the offenses.
Nazario has been charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious battery and driving with a suspended license.
Deputies said Nazario was the victim's mixed martial arts coach and the victim was in his custody at the gym at the time of several of the offenses.
Some of the offenses occurred at Nazario's residence, authorities said. According to officials, Nazario confessed during a recorded phone conversation.
However, at least one of Nazario's students is finding the charges hard to believe.
"I actually pulled my daughter out of another martial arts school to follow this individual (Nazario) around because of the integrity," said Anna Florentis. "I've never seen a woman feel uncomfortable, I've never seen any behavior that would be questionable, he actually makes it a special point to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable."
Florentis said there was an ongoing conflict between Nazario and the victim's parents over whether he would coach one of their other children. She said she believes these allegations are retaliation. The sheriff's office is still investigating.
Nazario is the owner of "Undisputed Fitness & Martial Arts" gym located on Waters Ave in Tampa.
Detectives have not identified any other victims at this time, however if anyone has any additional information on Nazario, they are urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at 813-247-8200.