Customary for our organizations when accepting new members (especially in an administrative capacity) is to run a background check on them. Due to the friendship between Hatfield and Justice, this was never done on Justice. In late 2016 I became actively involved in the American Jidokwan Association on an organizational level, having been a member for several years, becoming the Florida State Representative as the organization began expanding outside of Ohio. In 2017, as Hatfield and I were sitting around discussing the organization's growth and other prospective members, the topic of Justice's background check came up and we realized one had never been done. What we found was shocking, to say the least.
In 2004, Patrick Justice was convicted of sexual battery and served three years in prison (view source). We immediately confronted him about this, giving him the option to either step down or be removed publicly. He was upfront about his record and chose to step down. He turned in his certifications and was dismissed from the American Jidokwan Association entirely. On October 3, 2017, I replaced him as President of the AJA which I hold to this day.
Prior to running his background check in 2017, neither I or Hatfield were aware of the conviction. Although Hatfield and Justice had known each other beforehand, it was not uncommon for Justice to travel, move and lose contact for various periods of time. Therefore, his three year absense was not questioned. It was an unfortunate oversight, and having known Hatfield as deeply as I do, I can assure you that had he known prior to 2017 it would've been handled immediately. When the conviction came to light is when it was addressed. I must note that he was never employed as an instructor at Hatfield's school, and never taught classes there except as a guest under the supervision of Hatfield. Justice was never left alone with any students, nor is any guest instructor at Hatfield's school.
Sexual offense is not something to be taken lightly, and as a SafeSport certified martial artist, I am acutely aware of this problem across the martial arts (and youth sports in general) and am committed to ensuring not just those who are convicted offenders but all those displaying patterns of predatory behavior are not involved in the teaching of martial arts in any capacity. Both Hatfield and I denounce sexual offenders and violent criminals in all forms, and do not welcome them in our circle of friends, members or affiliates.
EDIT (August 14, 2020) - The trolls who continue to attack us have clung onto this situation as their last attempt to discredit Hatfield and myself, after a previous article (click here) fully detailed all of our credentials and put that scrutiny to rest. First, they falsely claim that we knew about Justice's conviction prior to 2017 to which I maintain that we had no knowledge of it, and acted immediately after becoming aware to ensure the safety of our students and the integrity of our organization. But most disturbingly, Don Roley and "Lordus Sapiens" outright lie that Justice was convicted of a heinous act, rape of a minor under 13-years-old. The background check we conducted showed that these charges were dismissed. Therefore, claiming Justice is a "pedophile" or "child rapist" is explicitly incorrect and defamatory, and no one knows the origin of such charges to begin with. I only bring it up now to silence the liars, as judging someone based on charges that were dismissed is asinine.
Justice's only sexual offense conviction was for "sexual battery," which is a broad characterization of offenses ranging from engaging in intercourse with an intoxicated individual to statutory rape. Attached below is the official record from the Franklin County Municipal Court public records search (click here) showing the dismissed charge. Also of note that Justice is not required to register based on his distinction as "(Pre-AWA) Sexual Oriented Offender," and is not found on the Ohio sexual offenders registry (click here).
Please view "PSA: Patrick Justice (Part 2)" by clicking here for more information.