Posted April 26, 2014 by Sydnie Jones in News

Gracie Barra Yakima founder and black belt Cristiano Oliveira confesses to raping 14-year-old girl more than 100 times

News broke Thursday morning in the Brazilian jiu jitsu and MMA communities that Cristiano Oliveira, 35, founder of the Gracie Barra Brazilian jiu jitsu school in Yakima, Washington, had been arrested the previous evening on charges of child rape, child molestation, and sexual misconduct. Oliveira confessed to police that, beginning in 2008, he had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl for two years and raped her over 100 times. He would have been 29 or 30 in 2008. Children cannot consent to sex.

The Yakima Herald reported separate, previous allegations of sexual predation against Oliveira, as well:

Oliveira last year was sued by the mother of a teenage student who said he attempted to “groom” the student for sex using Facebook.

But attorney J.J. Sandlin, who represents the girl’s family, said the lawsuit is proceeding in Yakima County Superior Court. He said Oliveira never touched the girl, but she lost interest in martial arts and feared retribution from Oliveira as a result of the messages, which the suit described as “inappropriate, unsolicited and offensive.”

Intimidation and sexual suggestiveness are two ‘tricks’ employed by child predators.

Authority Trick 
Many of us have taught our children to respect authority without realizing that individuals who target our children take advantage of their position such as a teacher, coach, religious or club leader. 

Desensitize Trick
Offenders may continually talk to children about sex or use pornography to demonstrate sexual acts. They may arouse a child’s curiosity by emailing or leaving sexual material and aids around where they may see them. 

Threat Trick 
Children may be threatened into cooperation and further silenced. Once the abuse has taken place, they threaten to expose the child either to their parents or to their friends. The offender may threaten the abused child into recruiting other children.

Another tactic frequently used by child predators casts the program Oliveira developed with Yakima police to provide free jiu jitsu instruction to kids in a sinister light:

Teaching Trick 
Assistance is offered to a family to help teach a child a sport or how to play a musical instrument, often without cost.

Although the official Gracie Barra website, Facebook, and Twitter have not addressed the situation, after an emergency meeting Thursday evening of the Gracie Barra Northwest leadership team, the Gracie Barra Seattle website posted the following statement, attributed to Marcio Feitosa,  GB Vice President, and Flavio Almeida, GB Executive Director:

Dear GB Friends,Today we woke up with the shocking accusations of sexual misconducts involving Mr. Cristiano Oliveira, Head Instructor of Gracie Barra Yakima, Washington.As transparency is a Gracie Barra core value, we want to share with you our perspective of the situation.

First and foremost, Gracie Barra is saddened with the episode. Our team in no way condones or tolerates any form of sexual harassment. As part of the Instructors Certification Program, we required each one of our instructors worldwide to read and understand our preventive policies and guidelines in regards to this matter.

The safety and security of all students, athletes, employees, school owners, and third parties remain Gracie Barra’s top priority. That commitment is unwavering. Further, each school, instructor, employee and third parties are expected to adhere to Gracie Barra’s Code of Conduct and Sexual Harassment Prevention Guidelines.

When violations occur, immediate and appropriate disciplinary action is taken. At the present moment we are working on gathering more information about this case so we can take the appropriate measures. Therefore as of right now Mr. Cristiano Oliveira is suspended from all Gracie Barra activities and also suspended from teaching at a Gracie Barra School until further notice.

The Gracie Barra Support Group ([email protected]) is available to help all of GB Schools who need assistance on dealing with this matter.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any question related to this matter. If we have any further relevant information, we will reach out to you.

Our hearts go to the victim and her family. Gracie Barra leaders in the region are making sure she receives all support from our team.

Marcio Feitosa,  Vice-President of GB Association
Flavio Almeida, Executive Director of GB Association

Sydnie Jones