Crime

Taekwondo instructor accused of child molestation was known previously as a boy genius

Sebastian Choi shows a back kick to one of his students in 2013, just after the then-16-year-old Choi became FIU’s youngest graduate. Choi went by “Sky” back then, an English translation of his middle name.
Sebastian Choi shows a back kick to one of his students in 2013, just after the then-16-year-old Choi became FIU’s youngest graduate. Choi went by “Sky” back then, an English translation of his middle name. Miami Herald staff

A decade before his arrest Tuesday on child molestation and rape charges, Doral taekwondo instructor Sebastian Choi showed up all over South Florida media as FIU’s youngest student.

Called “Sky Choi” in 2009 stories by the Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Post and FIU News, Choi started at FIU as a 12-year-old physics and math double major after being home schooled. A 2013 FIU News article noting his graduation at 16 said the Phi Kappa Phi honor society member changed his major to Asian Studies with a focus on teaching.

“People have always expected me to cure cancer, to become a doctor, to be some rich person,” Choi told FIU News in 2013. “One of the things I keep telling myself and that really drives me and helps people understand is: Wouldn’t you want the smartest people to teach the kids?”

By the time he started full time at FIU, Choi already started teaching at Team Taekwondo, the studio started by his father, taekwondo grandmaster Byung Sam Choi. Father and son shared the cover of TaeKwonDo Life magazine’s June 1, 2016, issue.

It was a Team Taekwondo student who said now-22-year-old Sebastian Choi, when he was 19 and she was 10, made her masturbate him and perform oral sex on him “on numerous occasions,” the arrest report said.

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Choi remains in Miami-Dade Corrections Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center — without bond — on two counts of sexual battery of a minor by an adult and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child by an adult.

Sebastian Choi fitted mugshot.jpeg
Sebastian Choi Miami-Dade Corrections

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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