Four years after initial arrest, Ocean Springs man accused of sexually assaulting child is still awaiting trial
JACKSON COUNTY, Mississippi – Four years after his initial arrest, former owner of Ocean Springs martial arts academy Todd Pisarich is still awaiting trial on six counts of sexual assault against a minor and three counts of lustful touching on a child.
Pisarich was scheduled to stand trial in the courtroom of Jackson County Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson from Monday, but his trial was postponed again, this time until August 20.
While the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment directly on an ongoing case, when reviewing court documents, it appears the long delay in bringing the high-profile case to trial was the result of ” a number of factors including, but not limited to, the heavy workload handled by the grand jury, the many extensions requested, and the well-documented chaos inflicted on the justice system during the COVID-19 outbreak .
Pisarich, now 53, was the owner of the Mixed Martial Arts Academy on the Old Spanish Trail directly across from Ocean Springs Middle School when he was arrested in April 2017 on two counts accusation of sexual violence against a minor.
At the time, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said the arrest was the result of a five-month investigation into Pisarich, launched in November 2016 after allegations of sexual abuse first emerged and improper contact with minors by Pisarich.
According to the original indictment, on October 13, 2016, Pisarich engaged in sexual penetration with a minor, who was not a student at his martial arts school. Ezell said additional charges were expected.
In December 2018, after a Jackson County grand jury laid seven more charges against Pisarich, he was arrested again, this time by the US Marshals in Santa Rosa County, Florida. He was considered an “out-of-state fugitive,” according to the Santa Rosa County Jail File.
Pisarich was free on $ 40,000 bail on the original charges when he was arrested in Florida. He has since been released on additional bail. When he posted bail for the first time, he was also ordered not to have contact with the victim.