‘I’m sorry if I did anything to hurt you’: Danville teacher accused of child molestation was brought down by victim’s pretext call, police say

DANVILLE — Ramon Pruitt, the Danville karate instructor who sits in county jail awaiting trial on child molestation charges, was surreptitiously recorded by police apologizing to one of the two boys he’s accused of victimizing, according to court records that have revealed new details about the case.

“I’m sorry if I did anything to hurt you. I never want you hurt,” Pruitt allegedly told one of the boys, who had just recalled to Pruitt how he felt uncomfortable when Pruitt performed a specific sex act on him. Pruitt never denied molesting the boy, according to police.

When the boy said he was thinking of talking to a therapist about what happened, Pruitt’s response was swift, police say.

“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no no,” he allegedly told the boy. “I need you to be with me…You cannot do that.”

Later, when detectives interviewed Pruitt about the exchange, he claimed he was confused by the questions, according to police.

Pruitt, 64, is due in court next month, where a judge is expected to set a trial date. The San Geronimo resident has been in the Martinez Detention Facility in lieu of $500,000 bail since last February, when he was accused of molesting at least two students of his.

Police say Pruitt co-owed Danville Karate International, located at 105 Town and Country Drive in Danville, at the time of his arrest. The charges include lewd acts against two boys, including oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object. The charging records cover a six-year period ending in early January, when police began investigating the case.

The case was sparked by one of the alleged victims coming forward, telling police it was painful to recount the memories but he wanted to ensure that Pruitt didn’t hurt others, investigators said in court records. He described dozens of instances of molestation, alleging that Pruitt started by grazing his private parts during stretches, then slowly escalated the conduct over time.

During the acts of molestation, Pruitt would tell the boy things like, “I love you,” and, “I will be there for you,” the boy reportedly told police. He allegedly repeated this during the recorded pretext call, “I want to be there for you. I want you loved, I want you safe, I want you to feel good. That’s the truth.”

“Promise nothing sexual anymore?” the boy said later in the call, according to police.

“Absolutely promise,” Pruitt allegedly replied. “And I absolutely promise I have no desire to do anything to you but love you, take care of you, and be there for you…If you have feelings that are different from that, I’m going to help you leave those alone if you want.”

This newspaper is not describing the details with specificity due to a policy to protect the identifies of alleged sex assault victims. Pruitt’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment on the allegations.

After a preliminary hearing last April, Judge Patricia Scanlon ordered Pruitt to stand trial on all the charges. Attorneys …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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