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Former karate teacher gets 15 years for abusing kids

Dean C. Fuersetenberg / phofrom DuPage County Sheriff's office

Dean C. Fuersetenberg / photo from DuPage County Sheriff's office

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Updated: February 27, 2014 6:50AM

WINFIELD — A former karate teacher was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting children at two northwest suburban martial arts schools.

The sentencing hearing took place at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, where Dean C. Fuerstenberg, 45, has been held since Nov. 19, authorities said in a statement.

He “suffered serious and permanent injuries while he was in custody at the DuPage County Jail,” a statement from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office said.

Officials declined to comment on the nature of his injuries.

Fuerstenberg, who most recently lived in Eden Prairie, Minn., pleaded guilty to three felony counts of criminal sexual assault, for two incidents in Kane County and a third in DuPage County, prosecutors said.

He admitted sexually assaulting two people younger than 18 between June 2003 and November 2005, while he was an instructor at a South Elgin martial arts school, the statement said.

He also admitted assaulting another minor between May 2002 and May 2006, when he worked for a Roselle martial arts school, according to prosecutors.

Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon called Fuerstenberg’s actions “unconscionable” and said he took advantage of his position of trust.

“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,” McMahon said in the statement.

“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.”

Fuerstenberg must serve at least 85 percent of his 15-year sentence, prosecutors said. He will receive credit for about two years spent in the DuPage County Jail, where he had been held after his arrest.

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