16. Something Wicked This Way Comes
Image: Scallywag and Vagabond
Stephannie Figeuroa seemed like the type of person everyone got along with. She was kind, talented and even became a Karate master at the young age of 21. However, looks can also be deceiving, and one mother’s intuition revealed a deep dark secret that would shock everyone and shatter the picture-perfect image that Stephannie had created for herself.
15. Born to Be a Champion
Stephannie Figeuroa’s love for the martial arts began the first time she entered her first dojo at the young age of five. Since then she’s trained hard and has become a world champion and one of the go-to competitors on the NASKA circuit. To say she’s accomplished more than other’s her age would be an understatement.
14. Helping the Next Generation
Despite her success, Stephannie has always had a soft spot for kids. She believed that it was vital to pass on her knowledge and skill set to other young martial artists. Why should she be the only champion when she could train the younger generation to push the limits even further! Sadly, her days of training would be numbered. Shortly after her 21st birthday, Stephannie’s world would be completely shattered.
13. Post-Birthday Nightmare
The night of Stephannie’s 21st birthday, she made sure to live it up in style with one of the best parties of her life. However, one week later, she found herself arrested by the police and taken into custody. What could this upstanding young woman have done to warrant her arrest?
12. The Interrogation Begins
Image: Huffington Post
Locked inside an interrogation room, Stephannie demanded to know why she had been arrested. Not only was she scared, but she was angry. She couldn’t think of one thing she could have done that would have caused her to be in legal trouble. However, this was all about to change when the detectives came in and slammed a folder down in front of her. What could be inside?
11. The Phone Records
Inside the folder were screenshots from the cell phone of an 11-year-old boy who happened to be one of Stephannie’s students. The conversations had been so disturbing to his mother that she had immediately contacted the police. You won’t believe what the texts revealed.
10. Criminal or Victim
Image: Florida Sexual Offenders
According to the detectives, the highly inappropriate and sexual messages seemed to have been written by Stephanie. Could this have been a misunderstanding? For such an upstanding young woman is it possible someone had stolen her phone from time to time? The police were about to uncover the truth and it was much darker than anyone could have expected.
9. A Dark Seduction
Some of the messages to the young boy were deeply incriminating. One read: “I can’t wait for another sleep over at the karate school…so we can have sex again in a hard way.” Another message invited the boy to her 21st birthday party where she claimed they would be alone and could have some time together. All of these messages had been sent through the KIK messenger app during the month of June 2016.
8. A Long Term Affair
Image: Scallywag and Vagabond
One of the more blatantly sexual texts revealed that the abuse between Stephannie and the 11-year-old boy had been going on for quite some time. In the text, Stephannie expressed her desire to have sex with him, which he responded “OK IDC (I don’t care).” The police determined that the child’s lax response meant their interactions were not new. However, texts weren’t the only evidence the police found.
7. Photographic Evidence
The detectives also recovered 15 scandalous photographs that depicted Stephannie both nude and semi-nude. However, there was one problem that threw a wrench in finding beyond reasonable doubt…
6. Gone Without a Trace
Image: Chiefs Planet
The problem with the photographs was most of them had been deleted. They only had the boy’s testimony to go off of. While some photos had remained, they weren’t as scandalous as the young man described. Is it possible that Stephannie was being framed?
5. The Charges Flood In
Image: Fox 32 Chicago
After the detectives had finished their investigation, Stephannie was charged with attempted lewd or lascivious conduct, solicitation and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In the end, she would plead not guilty to all charges. However, the case would soon take a very strange turn.
4. Not an Instructor
Image: Junk Host
As the investigation continued, police discovered that the dojo Stephannie claimed to volunteer at never officially brought her on as an instructor. In fact, the owner wasn’t even aware she had been training with some of the younger kids. Surveillance footage was reviewed in-depth, but none of the recordings revealed Stephannie doing anything inappropriate with the victim.
3. Claiming Innocence
Image: AmeriCon News
Stephannie continues to claim her innocence throughout the ordeal. Her family and friends have rallied together on her behalf, stating that she could never do what she was charged with and it was completely out of character for the former karate champion. A Go Fund Me page was even set up in an attempt to raise money for legal fees. Do you think she’ll get any help?
2. Possible Victims
Realizing that more victims could come forward, the detectives also looked into previous recreational centers that Stephannie had trained at. So far, no one else has come forward. It’s unsure if there is enough concrete evidence to eventually convict Stephannie of her alleged crimes.
1. Future Hangs in the Balance
Image: Orlando Sentinel
While the police continue to investigate the allegations against Stephannie, she is currently out of jail and awaiting trial. A pre-trial hearing was held in April 2017, but a final trial date has yet to be set. Stephannie continues to claim she is innocent, but only time will tell if a jury agrees with her.