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Karate instructor accused of sexual assault guilty on almost all counts

PITTSBURGH — A jury found a former karate instructor guilty on Monday on nearly 70 counts related to the sexual assaults of eight students who attended his classes.

Michael Scherbanic of North Versailles showed no emotion as the verdict was read in a case so high-profile that people were turned away at the courtroom door.

The boys – who were between the ages of 8 and 13 when they were molested – will have to face him again for sentencing, after a jury found Scherbanic guilty on 69 counts, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault.

He was also found guilty of trying to intimidate the victims from his jail cell.

“I don't agree with the jury's verdict in total,” said Richard Narvin, Scherbanic’s attorney. “I don't think evidence was there to support all charges.”

When Channel 11 pressed Narvin, about whether his client plotted to harm the boys from his jail cell, he said Scherbanic was innocent, but “he was concerned, as we first said here how serious the situation was, and therefore he probably did do some things that probably were unwise.”