A martial arts instructor has been indicted on multiple charges related to the sexual abuse of minors following a recent decision by a Charles County Grand Jury.

Steven James Hardeman, 37, of Newburg, faces serious accusations stemming from his time teaching at the American Martial Arts Gym in Waldorf, where he allegedly sexually assaulted two minors.

The charges against him include two counts of sex abuse of a minor, two counts of second-degree rape and other related offenses.

The arrest on February 29 came as a result of investigations initiated after two victims came forward with allegations against Hardeman.

These assaults are reported to have occurred as far back as 2013, highlighting a disturbing pattern of behavior over several years.

Hardeman’s connection to the martial arts community extends beyond the Waldorf location. He also taught at other American Martial Arts gyms in St. Mary’s County and Caroline County, VA, raising concerns about the possibility of additional victims.

Following the indictment, a judge has determined that Hardeman could be released from the Charles County Detention Center on personal recognizance, stipulating that he enrolls in home detention and is subject to electronic monitoring.

The case against Hardeman has sent shockwaves through the local community, particularly among families and individuals involved in the martial arts scene.

The trust placed in instructors, and the close-knit nature of martial arts training make the allegations particularly disturbing.

Parents and guardians are reminded of the importance of maintaining open lines of communication with their children and being vigilant about any signs of distress or discomfort related to their extracurricular activities.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the community awaits further details on this case, hopeful for justice for the victims involved.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation, emphasizing the seriousness with which it takes allegations of sexual abuse, especially involving minors.

The impact of these charges on the American Martial Arts Gym’s reputation and on the broader martial arts community in Maryland remains to be seen, as does the potential for additional charges as the investigation progresses.

In light of these allegations, authorities urge anyone with information about Hardeman’s conduct to come forward.