LOCAL NEWS Martial arts instructor sentenced to prison for recording children in changing rooms

12:27:00 PM Tkd kwan 0 Comments

A 32-year-old man working as a TaeKwondo instructor at Han Lee's TaeKwondo Academy in Aurora has been sentenced to fifty years in prison after being caught secretly recording his victims, primarily children during summer camps. The investigation began in 2021 when reports of his behavior were brought to police, leading to a search of Erik Chen's home. Authorities found a large stash of child pornography on his electronic devices, prompting the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office to issue a press release on the matter.

Chen's sentencing came from a Douglas County judge last Friday, mandating his time to be served in the Colorado Department of Corrections. Upon his release, he will be required to register as a sex offender. The initial incident was reported in February 2021 when a father revealed that his daughters had discovered Chen recording them with his cell phone while they were changing at the Lone Tree Recreation Center. Although the victims deleted the videos, a lack of evidence initially prevented Chen's arrest by the Aurora Police Department.

Subsequent reports revealed more incidents across different locations, involving children being recorded during changing times at TaeKwondo Academy's venues in Aurora and Lone Tree. Investigators found that some of the recordings were captured in local bathrooms and locker rooms, with Chen visible in some of the videos setting up the camera. District Attorney John Kellner praised the victims for their bravery in coming forward, potentially protecting others from Chen's offenses. Kellner emphasized the importance of children feeling safe in their communities and stated that Chen's removal was a step towards that goal.

In March, Chen pleaded guilty to three charges of Sexual Exploitation of a Child, a class 3 felony, acknowledging his unlawful actions. The case highlights the dangers posed by individuals in positions of trust and authority, urging vigilance in safeguarding vulnerable members of society.