Former martial arts instructor ordered to serve 18 months for abuse from decades ago

·2 min read

Sep. 1—After sexually abusing a former martial arts student more than 20 years ago, a Frederick man was ordered on Tuesday to serve 18 months in prison for the abuse, according to online court records.

Charles Stover, 61, of Frederick, pleaded guilty in August 2021 to two counts of child abuse. He was originally indicted on nine counts of child abuse of a minor, the News-Post previously reported.

The remaining seven charges were dismissed, documents show.

The victim, who is now an adult, said Stover abused her "hundreds" of times between 1998 and 2000, while she was a pupil at In Ji Yong Taekwondo Academy, according to charging documents.

Stover was an instructor at the academy, where he held a "cult-like" following and was treated like a "god," charging documents say.

The studio, which Stover owned and operated, offered classes in Frederick and Thurmont, police have said.

During the sentencing, the court heard a statement from the victim, Frederick County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Will Cockey wrote in an email.

The victim's attorney, Christopher Quasebarth, said in an interview Thursday that his client was thankful for the sentencing.

"My client has suffered the trauma of these offenses for the last, almost 25 years and the sentencing on Tuesday brought a conclusion to the criminal case," he said.

According to court documents, Stover addressed the court during his sentencing, asked for a few days before he goes to prison.

Stover's attorney, Thomas Pavlinic, said in an interview Thursday that Stover wanted to report on his own to the Maryland Division of Correction on Friday after getting medication instead of being taken there on Tuesday.

Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Richard Sandy denied the request, documents show.

Pavlinic said he would file a post-trial motion for a modification of sentence.

"I'd rather not comment on what's happened in the past, but just focus on the future," he said in an interview.

Stover was sentenced to a combined 30 years, suspending all but 18 months. Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Carpenter argued for a 30-year sentence with 25 years suspended.

Stover will also have to serve three-and-a-half years of home detention upon his release, followed by five years of probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender for 10 years, Cockey wrote in an email.

The sentencing guidelines were based upon the statutes at the time of the offense, Cockey wrote, which was three months to four years of incarceration for each count.

Follow Clara Niel on Twitter: @clarasniel