A former taekwondo instructor who taught in Aurora and Douglas County has been sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of the sexual exploitation of a child. The instructor, identified as Chen, was reported by children for recording them in restrooms and changing rooms. Police discovered CDs and DVDs containing “hundreds of thousands of images of child pornography depicting girls believed to be between the ages of 8 and 12.”
Chen ran summer camps at Han Lee’s Taekwondo Academy in Aurora and Lone Tree. Victims reported being recorded at recreation centers in Castle Rock and Lone Tree. In February 2021, a father reported that his daughters found Chen’s phone recording them while they were changing clothes in the Lone Tree Recreation Center. The victims deleted the videos, and at the time, there was not enough evidence to arrest Chen.
In June of the same year, Castle Rock police were called to the Castle Rock Recreation Center after a therapist reported that one of her clients discovered Chen recording them in the restroom in 2020. Detectives found that Chen had left his backpack in changing rooms or restrooms multiple times with a cellphone recording in a side pocket. Investigators also found more than half a dozen videos taken by Chen in local bathrooms and locker rooms, showing young girls and one boy changing clothes. Chen can be seen setting up the phone to record in some of the videos.
Chen pleaded guilty to the three charges in March. Senior Deputy District Attorney Zoe Laird stated that Chen “preyed on innocent, young children who trusted him as a camp leader.” District Attorney John Kellner commended the victims for their courage in speaking up and expressed hope that the sentence would provide closure for them and prevent Chen from victimizing other children in the community.