In the ring, Stepan Zeytunyan was known as "the Punisher."
Now, however, he is apparently trying to escape punishment for sexual assaults he allegedly committed in separate incidents against a pair of underage teen girls.
He reportedly failed to show up for a court hearing yesterday, and at this writing, he's considered a fugitive.
Zeytunyan isn't far removed from his days as a competitive fighter. Note the photo above, a 2010 publicity shot shared on the Xtreme Cage Wars MMA Facebook page, as well as the following screen capture from a 2009 bout. Note his personalized trunks.
Locally, however, Zeytunyan, 28, was best known as the co-owner and head instructor of World Class Boxing and Martial Arts in Aurora.
Here's a video from his little-used YouTube channel showing him in an instructional mode.
Then, in 2014, Zeytunyan began making a different kind of publicity.
On October 20 of that year, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office, Zeytunyan was hosting a grand opening party for the gym when he sexually assaulted a sixteen-year-old girl who was attending the bash.
In a 9News report from this past March, the station quoted from an arrest affidavit that describes how Zeytunyan got his alleged victim so drunk on champagne that she went to the basement of the building and fell asleep. When she awakened, the document maintains, she was "naked and Stepan was on top of her trying to have sex with her."
The 9News piece pointed out that Zeytunyan was still working with kids earlier this year despite the accusations against him, in part because the gym's co-owner believed strongly in his innocence.
In May, however, the DA's office filed new charges against him. This time, the counts maintained that he had sexually assaulted a seventeen-year-old former Tae-Kwan-Do student for three years, from 2010 to 2013. (Update: A source tells us Zeytunyan is no longer involved with the gym.)
Yesterday, Zeytunyan was supposed to appear in court, but he failed to materialize — and 9News quotes DA's office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough as being particularly concerned about his fugitive status owing to alleged threats he made against a witness.
We found one reference to such intimidation on Facebook. A post reads, "HE HURT A LOT OF PEOPLE AND HE IS MAKING THREATS TO MY FRIENDS, KNOW BECAUSE HE IS BITCH."
If you have any information about Zeytunyan's whereabouts, you're encouraged to contact the Denver Police Department or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). Look below to see a recent booking photo.
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