Tae kwon do teacher arrested after allegedly texting naked photos to 12-year-old

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Jonathan Knight By Catherine Holland Jonathan Knight By Catherine Holland

GILBERT/CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Police have arrested an instructor at a Valley tae kwon do center for allegedly luring a minor for sexual exploitation.

Jonathan Knight, 24, faces an additional four counts of furnishing harmful or obscene items to a minor.

According to police, the investigation was launched on Oct. 17 when the father of a 12-year-old girl reported that their daughter had been receiving in appropriate text messages from Knight.

Detectives said those inappropriate messages included a naked photo of Knight. The girl said she deleted the photo from her phone. According to court paperwork, Knight told the preteen in at least one message that she was gorgeous and he loved her.

Police used the girl's phone to continue the conversation with Knight, which included several additional naked photos. Court paperwork indicates that Knight said he wanted to be intimate with the girl and even promised to wear a condom and take precautions so she would not get pregnant.

Officers posing as the girl set up a meeting with Knight outside her house Thursday evening. Knight was arrested across the street from her home shortly before 7:30 p.m.

Police said Knight admitted sending the texts and the photos to the 12-year-old. According to court paperwork, Knight told investigators that while he did send the message about being intimate with the girl, he did not have any intention of having sex with her that night. He said he meant sometime in the future.

Knight was booked into Fourth Avenue Jail Thursday night. He was charged with one count of aggravated luring of a minor for sexual exploitation and four counts of furnishing obscene material to a minor.

Grand Master Won Ki Hong confirmed that Knight was employed at his tae kwon do center until last week. He fired Knight when the allegations against him came to light. The victim was a student at the center. Knight was her instructor.

During his initial appearance, a judge set Knight's bond at $18,000 and scheduled a status conference for Nov. 3 followed by a preliminary hearing on Nov. 7. If Knight posts bail, he will be subject to electronic monitoring and a curfew.