Martial arts studio vandalized after instructor's arrest for failing to register as sex offender

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Thursday, August 26, 2021
Martial arts teacher arrested for failing to register as sex offender
A former co-worker told ABC13 that Felipe Corona worked with children and teens at the Wu Training Studio in southwest Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More than a week after the arrest of a Houston martial arts instructor on charges he failed to register as a sex offender, owners of the studio he was connected to say they've been the victim of backlash and claim he was never a formal employee there.

In a statement posted on their website, representatives of the Wu Training Studio off Richmond and Hillcroft said one of their locations has been vandalized and the claims are misinformation.

SEE ALSO: Houston martial arts instructor arrested for failing to register as sex offender

"Please know that Felipe Corona was never a part of the WTS Ownership Group, and never a formal employee," studio representatives said in the statement. "The current claims against Felipe took WTS and the entire WTS family by surprise as WTS had no knowledge of these claims."

Corona was convicted of sexual assault of a child in McAllen, Texas, in 2011 in connection with a 16-year-old girl who investigators said met him while he worked at a martial arts studio there. Once convicted, he never registered as a sex offender and claimed that he moved to Mexico.

By the time he surfaced here, he was known to students as Coach Ivan, and Wu Training Studio denies claims made by Robert Ezzell, who said he was a former employee.

"Kind of just been living under the radar, under an alias, and no one really knowing the truth of his nature or what he had done," Ezzell said last week.

The U.S. Marshals were tipped off about Corona by someone who said they saw his photo on a social media post for the studio.

"WTS believes the spread of misinformation and online attacks have been a targeted and coordinated attempt by individuals to destroy the reputation, and all that WTS Ownership Group has built," studio representatives said.

Investigators said they discovered Corona was working at three family-owned businesses in southwest Houston: Spartan T-shirts, Wu Fighting World and Wu Training Studio.

Ezzell said Corona was working with and around children and teenagers.

"Even my own girlfriend's daughter for quite a while," said Ezzell, who worked at the business with Corona and his brother for three and a half years.

Police are asking anyone who may have been a victim of Corona's to speak up and call the Houston Police Department.

The video above is from previous reporting.