San Jose police arrest martial arts instructor accused of sexually assaulting minor at after-school program

San Jose police on Tuesday announced the arrest of a martial arts studio owner accused in the rape of a child at an after-school program he operated. 

Police said 54-year-old Ernest Ramirez was arrested on Thursday on multiple charges related to aggravated sexual assaults of a minor.

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Investigators said that in addition to owning a martial arts studio in San Jose, the suspect also operated an after-school program for Merritt Trace Elementary School, where he met the victim, now 14.

Detectives said the teen attended the after-school program between August 2020 and June 2021, when the alleged sexual assaults occurred. 

"The victim had since relocated with family out of state [to Idaho] when they reported the incidents," police said, noting that it was with the assistance of police in Idaho that an arrest warrant was issued and Ramirez was taken into custody in San Jose.   

Police said Ramirez operated Extreme Martial Arts Studio for over 20 years. Following his arrest there is now a sign on the door that says, "due to a family emergency, the studio will be closed until further notice."  

"You’re trusting that the people who are there, instructing your youth, taking care of your children, are someone to be trusted. Not to be violated," SJPD Sgt. Christian Camarillo said. 

He’s being held at Santa Clara County’s Elmwood Correctional Facility. He faced multiple sex assault charges including rape of a child under 14 years old.

San Jose Unified School District says some children enrolled at Extreme Martial Arts are students at Merritt Trace Elementary School. The District released a statement, saying in part: 

"The individual arrested is not a San José Unified employee, the business does not have an agreement with any San José Unified school, and the program does not operate at a San José Unified facility. San José Unified is fully supporting the ongoing SJPD investigation." 

"People like this have more than one victim. If any victims want to come forward, please get a hold of our detectives. It doesn’t matter how much time has elapsed. If the incident happened five, 10, 15 years ago we want to hear from you," Carmarillo said.   

Ramirez is scheduled to appear in court on Friday. 

Police urged anyone with information about this case or similar incidents to contact San Jose Police Detective Frank Montoya at 408-537-1382 or e-mail him at

Anonymous tips can also be made through the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (408) 947-STOP (7867), or by clicking here.

On June 9, 2022, San Jose police arrested Ernest Ramirez, 54, on charges of aggravated sexual assaults of a minor.