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Hawthorne Karate Teacher Accused of Teen Sex Chat

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A local karate instructor and Hawthorne resident was arraigned Tuesday on felony charges of attempting to disseminate indecent materials to a 15-year-old female, according to Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore.

According to the district attorney’s office, Joseph Sayers, a 43-year-old resident of Sherman Avenue, engaged in numerous conversations with an investigator posing as the minor in an online chat room. Sayers is currently listed as an assistant instructor with the American Heritage Goju Karate-do school, which operates their classes at the Mount Pleasant Community Center in Valhalla. He is also a history teacher at Haldane High School in Cold Spring, N.Y.

Lucian Chalfen, a representative with the district attorney’s office, said Sayers discussed specific sexual acts that he would like to engage in with the female after it was made clear to him that the person he was chatting with was 15 years old. Chalfen said that Sayers was encountered randomly in the chat.

Chalfen said Sayers was arrested this morning by Westchester County District Attorney investigators at an undisclosed location in Mount Pleasant and was arraigned in White Plains City Court.  His bail was set at $20,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court next on April 17. If convicted, Sayers can face a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

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