The well-known owner of a Klamath Falls boxing club was arrested Friday in Medford on charges of engaging in an improper sexual act with an underage girl, police said.

The well-known owner of a Klamath Falls boxing club was arrested Friday in Medford on charges of engaging in an improper sexual act with an underage girl, police said.

Edward Gary Clarke, 53, faces charges of third-degree rape and third-degree sexual abuse after witnesses phoned Medford police after spotting him with a teenage girl in a vehicle outside the Cinemark Tinseltown USA movie theater in Medford Center, Medford police Sgt. Greg Lemhouse said.

"Our officer who contacted the pair was able to determine the two were involved in unlawful sexual behavior in the vehicle," Lemhouse said. "We take these cases very seriously and immediate action was taken to protect the victim."

Clarke, who lives in the 3800 block of South Shasta Avenue in Klamath Falls, owns Klamath Boxing and Fitness at 800 Spring St., Klamath Falls. He is a well-known figure in that town and the boxing club is frequented by teenagers. Lemhouse would not comment on whether Clarke met the girl at the boxing club.

Calls to the club seeking comment were deterred as the phone has been disconnected. It is unknown if the club remains open.

"We cannot release a lot of details about the crimes because the investigation is continuing," Lemhouse said. "We also don't want to take the chance of identifying the young victim."

The girl was taken into protective custody after Clarke was taken to the Jackson County Jail. Lemhouse did not know if she was turned over to her parents. He said more details should be available early next week.

Clarke remained lodged in jail late Saturday on $15,000 bail. Under Oregon law a person is charged with third-degree rape if they have sex with a person under 16 years old.

If anyone knows of additional victims in this case they are encouraged to call Medford detectives at 774-2300.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471; or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.