Martial arts instructor jailed 50 years for secret recordings of children

A stripmall Taekwondo instructor is off to jail after being caught surreptitiously filming kids in changing rooms. Erik Chen, 32, received a 50-year sentence in the Colorado Department of Corrections from a Douglas County judge on Friday. Complaints from the youngsters in his care led investigators to his computer, where they found "hundreds of thousands of images of child pornography."

Among the pornographic material seized from his home were more than a half dozen videos which investigators determined were recorded in local bathrooms and locker rooms where both boys and girls were changing clothes. Chen, in fact, was seen in some of the videos setting up the phone to record, according to the press release.

The District Attorney's press release offers more details of the crime and how Chen was caught—thanks, largely, to the vigilance and courage of his targets. "By coming forward, these young girls likely saved many others from being victimized by this defendant," District Attorney John Kellner said.

In February 2021, the Aurora Police Department was dispatched to Han Lee's Taekwondo Academy in Aurora where Chen was employed. A father told investigators that his two daughters found Chen's cell phone recording them while they were changing clothes in the Lone Tree Recreation Center's changing room. The victims indicated they deleted the videos. An incident report was taken, but there was not enough probable cause or evidence to make an arrest at that time.

Then in June 2021, officers with the Castle Rock Police Department responded to the Castle Rock Recreation Center after a therapist stated one of her clients disclosed that Chen recorded them in the restroom of the recreation center in 2020.

The investigation revealed Chen ran summer camps for Han Lee's Taekwondo Center, which has locations in Aurora and Lone Tree. On multiple occasions, detectives learned Chen left his backpack in a changing room or restroom with his cell phone recording in a side pocket. One of the victims reported noticing the phone hanging out the side of Chen's backpack and went to turn it around out of caution and found it was recording.