SILVERTON, OR (KPTV) – A taekwondo instructor was arrested – accused of sexually abusing a young boy for years, according to Silverton Police.
FOX 12 spoke with the young man, who says 38-year-old Jeremiah Barkley sexually abused him for four years.
He says the abuse started in 2011 when he was only 13 years old. For years he stayed quiet, until now.
His identity is not being revealed, as police say he’s a victim of sexual assault.
“Yes, he did take advantage of me. I don’t like to think of it that way. He did all the things anybody should do for another person. Unfortunately, he did some bad things too,” he said.
For the first time, the now 21-year-old man is speaking up about what he calls a dark past with his taekwondo instructor.
“Anybody can look on the inside, including himself and myself, and realize that that the actions taken were very dark,” he said.
The man also said he wants to make it clear that he and Barkley met at church, not at class for taekwondo. The man believes he was Barkley’s sole victim. He says after meeting Barkley, he became his student.
“Unfortunately, I was naïve at that time to think nothing would ever happen again, I was wrong,” he said.
Because of the arrest, Bailey’s Taekwondo Class in Silverton now has a new head instructor.
“With the alleged accusations against Jeremiah, we felt we needed to move him out of the position,” said Jon Haynes, the new head instructor at Bailey’s Taekwondo. “I’m sick to my stomach. Every time I think about it my stomach rolls. I haven’t eaten since I heard.”
Haynes said he’s known and worked with Barkley for the past 10 years. He says Barkley has a wife and two little boys.
“I can’t imagine what they’re going through. Their life has been turned upside down,” said Haynes.
Both Haynes and the young man say they believe Barkley had one sole victim.
“All of us are very confident that none of the kids were put through this,” said Haynes.
The young man said, “The sole reason I did this was so that he could repent for the things that he did because he knows what he did wrong. I don’t want anything other than for him to be helped.”
Although the young man says he’s confident that he’s the only victim of this alleged abuse, Silverton police are urging parents to speak with their kids and come forward if they have any information.
Barkley faces several sex abuse charges. He’s scheduled to appear before a judge on April 3.
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