TWINSBURG, Ohio (WOIO) - William Mello, 58, was sentenced to one year in prison for gross sexual imposition.
“The community put him in a position of trust, and he violated that trust,” said prosecutor Jeff Puthoff.
William Mello was a teacher at Silent Mind Arts Studio in Twinsburg.
An 11-year-old student told investigators that Mello touched her inappropriately several times in the studio’s locker room.
“Mr. Mello was there at the karate studio to help protect children and instead he preyed on one,” said Puthoff.
Mello’s attorney chimed back saying that’s not all the way true.
“This victim was not one of Mr. Mello’s students while he was teaching at the dojo,” said defense attorney Benjamin Sorber. “His entire time teaching there, he did not teach children.“
Both the defense and prosecution came to an agreement on Mello’s punishment, one the judge was unsure of.
“I will, I must say reluctantly, follow the agreement of the parties,” said Judge Rowland.
Mello was sentenced to one year in prison for this crime.
But Mellos’ crimes don’t stop here.
After the 11-year-old victim came forward, several others did as well.
“This one-year prison sentence isn’t the only sentence the defendant will be serving time on,” said Puthoff. “He hasn’t been sentenced yet, but the parties there expect a four-year prison sentence.”
When given a chance to address the court, Mello refused and giving his attorney the final words.
“He regrets what he did and knows that he can’t change or take back what happened,” said Sorber. “I know this ways heavy on him and he is full of regret and remorse.”
After serving several years in prison, Mello will be required to register as a sex offender.