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Published on May 23, 2024
Boca Raton Martial Arts Instructor Charged with Lewd Fonds on Teen StudentSource: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

A 62-year-old martial arts instructor from Boca Raton, Leo Gerard Bonaparte, finds himself behind bars, accused of the lewd fondling of a teen student during private lessons. Bonaparte, associated with Millennium Martial Arts, was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious behavior involving a 17-year-old, according to CBS12 News. His arrest comes after a report of multiple incidents occurring in March at the martial arts facility on W. Palmetto Park Road.

The victim, who came forward last week to divulge the distressing details, described being touched inappropriately on her breast and genital area by Bonaparte; according to the arrest report she and a Palm Beach County Victim Services advocate and a police officer met to discuss the disturbing events, when victims of such assault typically face the daunting challenge of fear - fear of disbelief, of blame, of retribution in their quest for justice. As part of the investigation, a recorded phone conversation overseen by a detective captured the instructor admitting to the acts, and shockingly, suggesting he held back from going further, "he felt she was being ‘flirtatious," according to CBS12. These admissions greatly solidified the case against him.

Post arrest, Bonaparte was able to secure his release from the Palm Beach County Jail after posting a $75,000 bond. reports that a subsequent court order strictly prohibits Bonaparte from interacting with any individuals under 18 and mandates no contact with the victim's family. Despite the release, Bonaparte's actions are bound to echo in the courtroom during his upcoming first appearance on June 20.

Rene Boone, Palm Beach County Victim Services Program Manager, underscored the harrowing path victims navigate, "It’s a lot of questioning the victim versus understanding that they were in a place where a perpetrator committed a crime," she informed CBS12 News. Boone's words serve as a somber reminder of the ubiquity of sexual assault often committed by those cloaked in trust; and the vital, if often thanklessly arduous, role of advocacy and support for the courageous souls who dare to step forward with their truth.

Miami-Crime & Emergencies