Charleston-area karate instructor arrested after assault claims by another former student
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) —
James Buchen, a Charleston-area karate instructor arrested in January after being accused of sexually abusing two former students, is back in jail.
Charleston County jail records show Buchen, 45, was arrested by Mount Pleasant Police, and booked into the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center shortly before 8 a.m. Friday. Buchen is charged with second degree assault and battery.
According to an arrest affidavit, the new charge stems from allegations by a former student of Buchen's karate school, Buchen Martial Arts.
The former student claims Buchen asked her to come outside so he could give her a gift after helping him teach a karate class at Hibben United Methodist Church in Mount Pleasant.
Once outside, the victim says Buchen forcefully hugged her, grabbed her buttocks, and then "dry-humped" her.
The incident happened in February, 2017, police say, but wasn't reported until Jan. 26, 2018. The victim told investigators she came forward after seeing reports of Buchen's December 2017 arrest by Charleston Police.
Buchen was released from jail Tuesday, Jan. 30, after posting $300,000 bond related to his arrest Jan. 16 on two charges of criminal sexual conduct of a minor.
Affidavits provided by Charleston Police showed Buchen allegedly molested the two girls, both 15 at the time, while they were attending his martial arts camp during the summer of 2013.
A message on the Buchen Martial Arts school's website acknowledges the accusations against its namesake.
A statement on the website reads as follows:
"We are shocked and saddened by the recent allegations of misconduct against James Michael Buchen. Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our students. All classes are cancelled at this time. If you have recently paid for the January semester, your checks will not be cashed."
An official with Hibben United Methodist Church said Friday the church was unaware of the allegations against Buchen on its property prior to Buchen's arrest Friday. Buchen taught karate to pre-school aged children at the church.
Hibben released the following statement:
"We are shocked and saddened by the recent allegations of misconduct against James Michael Buchen. Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of all children and youth. James Buchen taught karate to the children of the pre-school. The investigation is in the hands of the police at this time."
A judge Friday morning set Buchen's bond at $10,000.