The operator of three martial arts centers in the Twin Cities area has pleaded guilty to fondling a teenager as she slept over at his house, saying he was intoxicated at the time and doesn’t recall the incident, his attorney said Monday.
Warrior’s Cove owner David W. Arnebeck, 48, pleaded guilty in Hennepin County District Court to fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a gross misdemeanor. Sentencing on Oct. 14 will include a 60-day jail term with release for work allowed, said defense attorney Robert Sicoli.
The Warrior’s Cove facilities in St. Louis Park, Burnsville and Little Canada train clients of all ages, including children. Whether Arnebeck will be able to instruct children will be addressed at sentencing, Sicoli said.
According to the complaint, a 15-year-old girl was asleep in late December at one of her frequent overnights at Arnebeck’s house when he started touching her sexually over her clothing. She awoke, pushed Arnebeck’s arm away and went into the bedroom of a juvenile who lives at the home.
Sicoli said Arnebeck entered what is called a “Norgaard plea,” explaining that his client “was too drunk to remember what happened.” Arnebeck’s plea means that he doesn’t not admit to committing the act but acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him.
In 1996, Arnebeck was convicted of a prostitution-related misdemeanor in Minneapolis, according court records.
According to the Warrior’s Cove website, Arnebeck is a master martial arts instructor who has won national and international competitions. The first Warrior’s Cove opened in St. Louis Park in 1996. He has been instructing since 1980.