Bethesda Karate Instructor Charged with Child Porn

Police have issued a warrant for a karate instructor from Bethesda charged with possessing child pornography who allegedly fled the country.

PHOTO | MCP

PHOTO | MCP

The warrant is for Alexander Soumbadze, 26 of Bethesda, charging him with eight counts of possession of child pornography. During this investigation, detectives say they have uncovered evidence that Soumbadze also had inappropriate contact with unidentified, adolescent males in a karate studio in Chevy Chase. Investigators are attempting to locate and speak with these victims to determine possible, additional criminal charges.

According to police, Soumbadze fled the United States on or about April 3 with a possible final destination of Georgia. A warrant has been issued for his arrest for possession of child pornography. The investigation into these additional seized videos remains ongoing.

In December of 2014, the Montgomery County Police-Child Exploitation Unit received information from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation that an individual who was uploading child pornography via the Internet was possibly residing in Montgomery County, according to a police news release. Montgomery County detectives were granted court orders to obtain information regarding the subscription information corresponding to that Internet user. From information received from these court orders, as well as by using other investigative techniques, detectives were able to allegedly identify the Internet user as Soumbadze, police said.

On April 1, a search warrant was executed at Soumbadze’s home in Bethesda. Soumbadze was interviewed and allegedly made admissions of trading and receiving child pornography. Several electronic devices belonging to Soumbadze were seized by investigators. Detectives then obtained court orders to analyze the information and data stored on those devices and the process of reviewing those electronics was expedited. During their review of the devices, investigators said they located eight videos of child pornography.

Investigators also discovered videos of Soumbadze allegedly improperly touching and engaging in sexual acts with what appear to be adolescent males and young adults. The males seem to have knowledge that they are being videotaped, police said. Detectives have been able to determine that these videos were taken prior to October of 2011, at a karate studio formerly known as DC Martial Arts, located at 6936 Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase. At that time, Soumbadze was an instructor at that studio, according to police. In October of 2011, the business changed ownership; Soumbadze became a partner in the business and the studio name changed to On The Mat Sports International. Soumbadze has been affiliated with the karate studio since he was a young child and attended the studio as a student, according to the news release.

Detectives would like to identify and speak to these victims captured on the videos to determine possible criminal acts that may have occurred. Victim information will be confidential and victims are strongly urged to call investigators. Investigators are asking that anyone who believes he/she was a victim of inappropriate contact with Soumbadze to please call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240.773.5406.

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