Karate instructor arrested for child molestation accused twice before

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- A Valley karate instructor is accused of child molestation, and this isn't the first time he's been under investigation by police.

Scott Alan Flood, 47, of Chandler, is currently being held at the Maricopa County Jail on two counts of child molestation.

Last week police say a 5-year-old girl told them she was touched inappropriately by "Karate Scott," at the Childtime Learning Centers in Chandler.

Flood is contracted to teach karate in at least three East Valley schools, including Childtime.

The girl claims Flood touched her vagina over her clothes on multiple occasions and then told her not to tell her parents.

"I'd go crazy if it was my daughter," says Alicia Ferrell whose young child is enrolled at the school. "He knew what he was doing when he signed up and put an application in."

Police arrested Flood Friday. Childtime sent a letter home with parents Monday.

In 2010, Flood was investigated for a similar incident at Sunrise Preschool in Tempe. In that case, he allegedly told a different 5-year-old-girl that she was "gorgeous" and "a real cutie pie." According to police reports Flood kissed the girl on the cheek during a karate class and "tickled her butt crack." The girl told her mother, who called police.

The department says the incident didn't meet the statutory requirement for child molestation and there wasn't enough probable cause. They tried to pursue a charge of aggravated assault instead. The city attorney said the likelihood of a conviction was low so the investigation was dropped.

Because Flood wasn't arrested or formally charged, it wouldn't have been picked up on a background check.

Chandler police say they don't believe there are any more victims, but because he's been involved with as many as 10 different preschools and day-care centers, officials aren't ruling it out.

"He had an accusation in 2010, he has another accusation in 2012. Obviously the potential is there by we don't have evidence to suggest otherwise," Chandler Police Detective Seth Tyler said.

There was another accusation in 1999, when Phoenix police recommended Flood be charged with "furnishing obscene materials to minors." The Maricopa County Attorney's Office decided there wasn't enough probable cause.

Neighbors feel it's unfortunate that Flood, a married father of two boys, slipped through the cracks.

"You just never know. I mean people can look perfectly normal - it's shocking, it's awful... There's kids here, there's kids there, there's kids all over here," said Colleen Hayes, pointing to the houses nearby.

Hayes says the situation is especially bad because Flood allegedly targeted the very children he was supposed to help empower.

"My granddaughter, she takes Kung Fu and that is to protect yourself against 'Stranger Danger' ... against person-you-know danger," she said.

No bond has been set for Flood.

Childtime released the following statement about Flood's arrest:

"As child advocates, we are committed to our children and the families we serve. This situation is very upsetting, as we work hard to select vendors that provide children with the best possible experience.

"We will continue working closely with the local authorities to assist their investigation of this third-party vendor until the matter is fully resolved.

"We have strict policies and procedures when it comes to the welfare of our children, and we do not tolerate any deviation from these standards by our employees or vendors.

"Providing a safe and nurturing environment to the children in our care remains our top priority."

Lydia Cisaruk
Director of Corporate Communications
Childtime and Tutor Time
Learning Care Group, Inc.