MARTINEZ — After taking the stand and adamantly denying guilt, a Danville karate instructor has been convicted of molesting two teen students over a seven-year span, court records show.

Ramon Pruitt, 66, was convicted of seven felonies, including multiple counts of committing a lewd act upon a child. Jurors acquitted him of one felony count. The verdict was returned Dec. 23.

Pruitt was charged with molesting two teen boys, but two former students were allowed to testify for the prosecution that they too had been molested by Pruitt. Prosecutors used their testimony to bolster sworn statements by the two victims.

During trial, Pruitt testified in his own defense, denying that he ever molested anyone and accusing the boys of fabricating the allegations. He claimed one of the victims had stolen from him before.

Prosecution evidence included a pretext call by one of the boys, which was recorded by police. During it, Pruitt never denies having molested the boy, even after the boy mentions specific acts of Pruitt’s sexual abuse. He tells the boy he loves him, and dissuades him from seeking therapy. He later told police he was confused by the boy’s questions, according to court records.

Police say Pruitt co-owed Danville Karate International, located at 105 Town and Country Drive in Danville. All four alleged victims came forward in early 2020. In February of that year, Pruitt was charged with molesting the two boys dating back to 2013.

Judge Charles “Ben” Burch, who presided over the trial, is set to sentence Pruitt on Jan. 13. Pruitt faces more than a decade in state prison. In the meantime, Burch has allowed Pruitt to remain out of custody; Pruitt was initially arrested on a $500,000 warrant, but was released amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been out of custody since 2021, according to jail records.


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