Avon Lake woman sentenced to six years for sexual exploitation of teen martial arts student

(Source: MGN)
(Source: MGN)(MGN)
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 6:36 PM EDT
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AVON LAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - The Lorain County Prosecutor found Erin Stephens, 31, of Avon Lake guilty of sexual battery for a year-long sexual exploitation of a teenage martial arts student she taught.

Jurors found Stephens guilty of the following charges:

  • Three counts of Sexual Battery

Stephens formerly owned ATA Karate for Kids in Avon Lake.

In her role as owner and instructor, she taught the victim for the time he was 10 until he was 18.

When he turned 16, Stephens initiated a sexual relationship with him, manipulating him into continuing the relationship.

Assistant Prosecutors Pat Hakos and Daniella Leigh handled the prosecution of Stephens.

Prosecutor Tomlinson said, “Stephens violated the trust placed in her as a coach and an instructor. I want to thank my assistant prosecutors, the Avon Lake Police Department, and most importantly, this brave survivor, for all of their work in holding Stephens accountable.”

“I also want to thank the members of the jury for their careful consideration of the evidence and arguments put before them,” Prosecutor Tomlinson said.

Judge Christopher R. Rothgery sentenced Stephens to six years in prison, and designated her as a tier III sex offender, the highest classification under Ohio law.

Upon her release from prison, Stephens will have to register with the sheriff every 90 days for the rest of her life.

She is the 106th sex offender prosecuted by the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office since 2021.