Aurora, CO

Taekwondo instructor faces 35 felony child exploitation counts in DougCo, Aurora

Heather Willard

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / July 12, 2022

(Douglas County, Colo.) Castle Rock police detectives, the Aurora Police Department and the United States Secret Service arrested Erik Chen, 31, on July 7 in Aurora on numerous felony charges of child sexual exploitation.

Castle Rock Police know of incidents dating back to 2019 and lasting until 2021 during which Chen instructed camps at Han Lee’s Taekwondo Academy, which has locations in Castle Rock and Aurora.

The charges stem from multiple incidents throughout Douglas County and Aurora, law enforcement allege, when Chen supervised camp outings for students of the academy. The academy’s owner is working with law enforcement to identify additional victims.

Chen, from Denver, is being held at the Douglas County Jail on a $250,000 bond. He first appeared in court Friday.

According to court documents, Chen faces nine felony charges of enticing a child for sexual exploitation, nine felony charges of enticement of a child, nine felony counts of sexual contact and coercion of a child, and nine felony charges of sexual exploitation of a child on video.

During the investigation, Castle Rock police identified several juvenile victims; however, detectives believe there could be others. Anyone with information can use the CRPD tip line at 720-733-3517 or CrimeTips@CRgov.com.

The investigation is ongoing.

Chen previously pleaded guilty to reckless child abuse with no injury, a misdemeanor, on June 27 in Arapahoe County. He was given a deferred sentence for two years and ordered to complete 60 hours of community service.

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

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