AAA  Apr. 21, 2017 2:27 PM ET
Ex-karate teacher gets trial on murder solicitation charges
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(AP) — A former karate instructor accused of sexually assaulting multiple students will stand trial on charges that he tried to have witnesses killed.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ( reports 29-year-old Michael Scherbanic, of South Park, waived his right Friday to a preliminary hearing on charges that he asked his cellmate to kill or intimidate his victims.

His attorney Richard Narvin says his client "maintains he is innocent" of the charges.

Investigators say he used a reference from the "Star Wars" movies as a codename for his plan.

Scherbanic was charged last year in five separate sexual assault cases. Police say the victims, who ranged in age from 12 to 20, were students at the Tang Soo Do Karate College in North Versailles.

His trial for the assault cases is set for August.

Associated Press
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