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New Cumberland martial arts studio closes after instructor's arrest

23-year-old David Houge was arrested for several acts of sexual assault against underage students.

NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. — A local business is closed and a community is outraged.

“That is horrible to hear, I can’t believe it happened right in our backyard," said Leann Usalis, who lives in New Cumberland.

“Anytime this kind of thing happens in a community, it hurts," said Thaddeus Eisenhower, the mayor of New Cumberland.

23-year-old David Houge was arrested by New Cumberland Borough Police this week. He is accused of committing several acts of sexual assault against underage students who were taking karate classes at Elite Fitness & Martial Arts, where Houge worked as an instructor.

“Our kids are learning how to defend themselves, and then we’re put up against people who are taking advantage of our kids in a completely different way," said one New Cumberland mother.

FOX43 News spoke with the woman, who chose to remain anonymous. She said her nine-year-old took lessons at Elite Martial Arts for a few years.

While her daughter was not involved, she says she now feels betrayed by the business.

“It was a really nice, family-oriented business from the appearance of it at the beginning," said the mother. "At this point in time, it’s all blown out and they have disappointed the community.”

In response, the owner of Elite Martial Arts closed his dojo permanently.

New Cumberland mayor Thaddeus Eisenhower says he’ll do what he can to ensure the business gives refunds to its customers.

“Everything that I can do as mayor and with the police department, we’ll make sure we follow up and make sure that’s happening," said Eisenhower.

FOX43 tried to reach out to the owner of Elite Martial Arts for comment but did not hear back.

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