A martial arts instructor who molested three girls during private lessons at his Lake Elsinore home was convicted Monday of a dozen felony charges.
Albert George Williams, 65, could face life in prison when he's sentenced by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez on July 7.
After deliberating roughly three days, a Murrieta jury found Williams guilty of nine counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 years old, two counts of digital penetration of a child under 10 and one count of witness intimidation. Jurors also convicted the defendant of sentence-enhancing allegations that he targeted multiple victims in a sex crime.
Williams was arrested in early November 2012 after a 10-year-old girl told her mother that the assailant had groped her several times during a karate lesson in the garage attached to his home in the 15600 block of Laguna Avenue.
Deputy District Attorney Julie Baldwin said the child also told authorities that the defendant had inserted his fingers into her vagina after getting her into his bedroom on the pretext of helping him with his computer.
Following Williams' arrest, deputies circulated a public notice about the case, asking any other alleged victims to come forward. Two girls did -- both alleging that Williams had molested them during one-on-one karate lessons, typically touching their privates while they were stretching or as he was having them demonstrate a particular move taught in class.
All of the children lived in the defendant's neighborhood, Baldwin said.
According to the prosecutor, Williams used intimidation tactics in an attempt to keep the victims from talking, suggesting that they would be beaten by gang members or worse.
One of the girls told detectives that "she was fearful of defendant because he would tell her and the other children stories about getting the letter 'S' carved into their faces for snitching," according to the prosecutor's trial brief.
Just prior to his arrest, Williams also tried to frighten the father of a child during a conversation in which the defendant said his son was a gang member who had just been released from prison after serving time for killing several people, according to Baldwin.
"(Williams) said that if anyone ever hurt him or any of his family members, his son would have his back," the prosecutor wrote.
Most of the sexual assaults occurred in 2011 and 2012. Due to their ages and the nature of the crimes, all of the victims were identified as Jane Does in the criminal complaint.
Williams, who's being held without bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, has a prior sex-related conviction in Los Angeles County, according to prosecutors.
— City News Service.