30 years later, ex-Alaska karate instructor arrested for sexually abusing girls

William A. Gouthro, arrested in Florida on Nov. 5, 2018. Charged with sexually abusing at least two girls in Anchorage from 1989-1991. Photo from Alachua County Sheriff Office.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A man was arrested just one day ago, on December 5, 2018, but his alleged crimes date back to the late 80's in Anchorage.

Decades after abuse took place, the Anchorage victims of childhood sexual assault spoke out to police, effectively opening a case on a 30-year-old crime for the first time.

Their accused abuser, William “Ashley” Gouthro, was charged with separate crimes of sexually assaulting girls between 1989 to 1991 in Anchorage.

Gouthro, who is now 77 years old and living in Gainesville, Florida, moved his family to Anchorage in the spring of 1989.

In Anchorage, Gouthro reportedly worked as a karate instructor of young children, until he and his family moved away in 1991, relocating to Florida.

It was during that two-year period, APD reported, that Gouthro sexually assaulted at least two girls, minors in Anchorage. Though the girls knew Gouthro, APD said they were not his karate students.

The girls did not report the crime to APD thirty years ago, but in 2017, they broke their silence, reporting the assaults to APD's Special Victim's Unit. APD said there are more victims potentially being sought.

One year later, after reporting the crimes from their youth, the victims saw justice in November of 2018.

APD detective C. Mueller's investigation resulted in the indictment of Gouthro, now living in Florida, for three counts of first degree sexual abuse of a minor, and five counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree.

To make an arrest, APD teamed up with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office in Florida. Working together, authorities were able to locate and arrest Gouthro on Wednesday, Dec. 5.

"We may be 4,600 miles apart, but we have a lot in common with the Anchorage Police Department in Alaska," ACSO said in a statement. "We both strive to help victims of crime seek justice for their case. Even if that case is 30 years old."

Gouthro was booked at the Alachua County Sheriff's Office Department of the Jail yesterday afternoon. APD said that Gouthro was involved in the coaching of Karate to children in several states including both Alaska and Florida.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Gouthro’s is asked to call the Alachua County Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit at 352-367-4123 or the Anchorage Police Department at 907-786-2614.