Chevy Chase karate teacher wanted on child pornography charges

A warrant has been issued for a Montgomery County karate teacher who faces child pornography charges, and police believe some of the students at his Chevy Chase studio may have been victims. 

Montgomery County police say 26-year-old Alexander Soumbadze currently faces eight counts of possession of child pornography, but investigators believe he may have fled the country. Investigators are also attempting to find and speak with possible additional, unidentified victims, and say there may be additional charges filed once those people are located. 

In December 2014, the Montgomery County Police-Child Exploitation Unit was alerted by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation that someone who possibly resided in Montgomery County was uploading child pornography via the internet. Detectives obtained information about that particular user, who was later identified as Soumbadze. 

Then, on April 1, a search warrant was executed at Soumbadze's Bethesda home. He was interviewed, and admitted to trading and receiving child pornography. Investigators seized several of his electronic devices, and in reviewing their contents, the found eight videos containing child pornography. 

Investigators also found videos of Soumbadze improperly touching and engaging in sexual acts with what appear to be adolescent boys and young adults. They say it appears the victims knew they were being videotaped. 

Authorities say they were able to determine the videos were shot prior to October 2011 at a karate studio formerly known as DC Martial Arts, which was located at 6936 Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase. Soumbadze had been an instructor at that studio, and when the business changed ownership in October 2011, he became a partner in the business, which was then called On The Mat Sports International. 

Investigators say Soumbadze has been affiliated with the karate studio since he was a young child and attended the studio as a student.

Police say Soumbadze fled the U.S. on or about April 3, and his possible final destination may have been the country of Georgia.  A warrant has been issued for his arrest, and the investigation into these additional seized videos continues. 

Detectives would like to identify and speak to these victims captured on the videos to determine possible criminal acts that may have occurred. Victim information will be confidential and victims are strongly urged to call investigators.

Investigators are asking that anyone who believes he or she was a victim of inappropriate contact with Soumbadze to please call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5406.
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