FORMER CENTRALIA MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO SEX CRIMES

FORMER CENTRALIA MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO SEX CRIMES

CENTRALIA — A 63-year-old Centralia man was sentenced Thursday in Clinton County court to 6-years in prison after he pleaded guilty to two of four sex abuse charges against him.

Tony Cunningham was arrested in 2015 on a Clinton County warrant charging him with four counts aggravated criminal sexual abuse — each is a Class 2 felony.

He pleaded guilty Thursday to two of those charges in exchange for the other two being dismissed and was sentenced to 6-years concurrent in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

In addition to the 6-year prison sentence, Cunningham will have to serve 2-years mandatory supervised release and register for life as a sex offender.

A 2017 case accused Cunningham of having contact with two of the individuals listed on the no contact order issued in the sex offense case. Those charges were also dismissed per the plea agreement.

According to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, between May and August of 2015 Cunningham committed sexual acts against one of the female victims and between September 1 and 30 of 2015 he committed the sexual acts against a second female.

Both girls were between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of the crimes.

At the time of his arrest Cunningham was a martial arts instructor at Aiki Shin Tai Dojo in Centralia.