Former martial arts teacher accused of repeatedly raping girl

Suspect faces 96 counts of sexual battery

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A former martial arts teacher is accused of repeatedly molesting and raping a girl, starting when she was 8 or 9 years old up until she was an adult, according to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the victim first reported the abuse in 2008, saying that Ruben Morales, who is known to her family, raped and molested her through the majority of her childhood, beginning in 1996 or 1997.

The victim said that Morales, 62, had threatened to kill her if she reported the abuse, so she was too afraid to provide full details to deputies when she met with them in 2008, officials said. However, in 2010, she further explained the allegations, the report said.

She said Morales first began inappropriately touching her one day when she was complaining that her chest hurt, according to the warrant. She said the abuse began with him touching her inappropriately and gradually got worse until he was raping her one to three times per week when she was about 11 years old, records show.

Deputies said the abuse became more frequent when the victim was in her teenage years.

On May 7, the victim said she was still afraid of Morales, but was more willing to discuss the abuse. She recalled incidents similar to the ones she reported in 2010 and provided deputies with details about how Morales would try to hide the abuse by locking doors, turning on the shower and making the victim lie on towels, according to the warrant.

She said when she was a teenager, her mom once walked in on the abuse, but didn't do anything to stop it and did not make any efforts to keep Morales away from the girl because Morales claimed he was helping the girl with her bathing suit, the report said. By that point, Morales was abusing her three to five times a week and she was hoping her mother would put a stop to it, according to authorities.

Deputies said Morales got the girl pregnant when she was 14, then again when she was 15 and possibly a third time when she was 16, but at that point the victim had a boyfriend. In all three cases, Morales took the victim to get an abortion, documents show.

Morales was recently arrested on 36 counts of sexual battery on a child younger than 12 and 60 counts of sexual battery on a child older than 12.

Deputies said Morales was a martial arts teacher in Lake Nona for years. Anyone who has information related to this case or other cases involving Morales is asked to call the Osceola County Sheriff's Office at 407-348-1150.

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