A San Mateo martial arts studio knowingly put its young, female students at risk by allowing an instructor accused of inappropriately touching one girl to continue working, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a second alleged victim.
The girl, named Jane Doe in the suit, and her guardian claim that Tat Mau Wong and his company the Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy directly led to Meng Ricky Wong sexually abusing her in October 2011 because he remained employed despite an earlier allegation. Tat Wong and the company also failed to alert students and their parents of the danger or take "reasonable steps" to prevent contact between Wong and minor female students, the suit states.
Meng Ricky Wong, 36, is currently charged with four felony counts of molestation stemming from two female students, both of whom have now filed suit. He faces life in prison if convicted of abusing multiple victims and is due back in court April 4 to enter a Superior Court plea and possibly set a trial date. Meanwhile, he remains free on $100,000 bail.
Meng Ricky Wong worked at the Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy on 43rd Avenue between 1999 and 2011. Prosecutors say he fondled the two girls, then ages 9 and 11, at different times between August 2010 and October 2011. The girls do not know each other but are very similar in age and appearance, according to San Mateo police.
In the first instance, Meng Ricky Wong allegedly took the 11-year-old girl upstairs at the studio and touched her breasts and buttocks. The girl reported the incident but the lack of corroboration led to no prosecution and Wong continued teaching.
In October 2011, the second girl reported an identical touching incident upstairs at the studio.
Last August, the first girl sued Meng Ricky Wong, Tat Mau Wong and the academy for "carelessly and negligently" failing to establish appropriate guidelines for interacting and teaching minors. The second suit, filed in March, seeks similar damages for negligence, sexual battery and willful misconduct among other allegations. The suit claims Wong and the company breached their duty of care to the minors after receiving information about the first alleged incident because it was "probable" without intervention another minor female student would be similarly touched inappropriately.
Instead, the suit claims, the company engaged in a cover-up scheme to "protect their profits and reputation."
In a response to the first suit, Tat Wong and his parent company denied all allegations, claimed the girl herself was negligent and said any injuries or damages were the result of another party.
Meng Ricky Wong is also trying to get the allegations of sexual battery and negligent infliction of emotional distress dismissed by the court. The suit doesn't explain what the alleged touching consisted of or that it was sexual in nature, according to the court document. A hearing is set for April 15.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102.