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Ex-Karate Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sex Acts With Minors

“Mr. Fuerstenberg was more interested in taking advantage of his position to satisfy his perverted needs than he was in looking out for the best interests of the children that he was responsible for mentoring."

Dean C. Fuerstenberg
Dean C. Fuerstenberg

A suburban martial arts instructor has pleaded guilty to having sexual contact with three minors.

Dean C. Fuerstenberg, 45, most recently of the 8500 block of Braxton Drive, Eden Prairie, Minn., pleaded guilty today to three counts of criminal sexual assault, each a Class 1 felony.

Two counts were relative to unlawful acts that took place in Kane County. The third count was relative to unlawful acts that took place in DuPage County.

Sixteenth Circuit Judge James C. Hallock and 18th Circuit Judge Blanche Hill Fawell accepted the pleas.

The proceedings took place at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, where Fuerstenberg has been held for the last two months. On Nov. 19, 2013, Fuerstenberg suffered serious and permanent injuries while he was in custody at the DuPage County jail.

Relative to the Kane County charges, between June 2003 and November 2005, Fuerstenberg took advantage of his position of trust, supervision or authority as a karate instructor at a South Elgin martial arts school and engaged in sexual acts with two minors who were younger than 18.

Relative to the DuPage County charge, between May 2002 and May 2006 at a Roselle martial arts school, Fuerstenberg engaged in sexual acts with a victim who was younger than 18.

The sentence is 7½ years for each Kane County count, to be served consecutively, and 10 years for the DuPage County count, to be served concurrent with the Kane County sentence. 

According to Illinois law, Fuerstenberg must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence. Fuerstenberg receives credit for at least 731 days served in the DuPage County jail, where he had been held since his arrest in lieu of $1.45 million bail between the two counties – $700,000 bail in DuPage County and $750,000 bail in Kane County.

Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said, “Mr. Fuerstenberg was more interested in taking advantage of his position to satisfy his perverted needs than he was in looking out for the best interests of the children that he was responsible for mentoring. His acts were disturbing, self-serving and unconscionable.

“I am sincerely grateful to the victims in this case for having the courage to come forward to prevent other young women from being victims of Mr. Fuerstenberg. I hope they believe that justice has prevailed, and that they are able to move forward unburdened as productive members of our community, willing to be a voice of hope for other victims of child sexual assault.

“Thanks to Det. Brian Polkinghorn of the South Elgin Police Department for his thorough investigation, and to Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Pam Monaco, who works so tirelessly for justice for all victims. Thanks also to DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin and his staff for their cooperation in bringing Mr. Fuerstenberg to justice.”

DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin said, “For approximately four years, Dean Fuerstenberg took advantage of his position as a trusted coach and mentor to sexually assault his victim. He repeated this vile behavior time and time again to satisfy his own twisted sexual desires. Today, Mr. Fuerstenberg admitted his guilt and will now spend a significant amount of time behind bars.

“I would like to thank DuPage County Children’s Center Director Pat Dempsey and Assistant State’s Attorney Louisa Nuckolls not only for their work on this very disturbing case but also for their continued efforts in protecting our children from sexual deviants such as Mr. Fuerstenberg. I also thank Kane County State’s Attorney Joseph McMahon and his office for their cooperation and outstanding work in holding Mr. Fuerstenberg accountable.”

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