A former assistant karate instructor from Haskell faces a maximum of 40 in state prison after jurors in Paterson convicted him of raping a 9-year-old girl at the Pompton Lakes dojo where he worked and at her Bloomingdale home, authorities said.
Luke V. Bakula, 31, was found guilty last week of two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and two counts each of sexual assault and child endangerment.
Bakula sexually assaulted the girl at Porta’s Karate Dojo Academy and at her home between November 2005 and July 2006, prosecutors said.
The girl eventually went to authorities nearly 10 years later, after which a grand jury indicted him.
At that point, he stopped being a student assistant instructor.
He also had his elementary teaching certificate suspended last June pending the outcome of the trial.
Months before his arrest, Bakula took a job as a paraprofessional in the Ringwood public schools system.
Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Portelli scheduled sentencing for June 7.
Bakula remained held in the Passaic County Jail until then.
He will have to serve 85% of his sentence, under the No Early Release Act, and, following his release, must register as a Megan's Law offender and remain under parole supervision for life.
ALSO SEE: A Teaneck High School basketball coach repeatedly had improper physical contact with two underage girls over the past several months, said authorities who arrested him.
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