Pembroke Pines

Hidden Cameras Found in Pembroke Pines Martial Arts Studio, Owner Charged

Robert Franco, 64, is accused of placing hidden cameras inside of the bathroom at Master Franco’s Taekwondo Academy

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The owner of a martial arts studio in Pembroke Pines is behind bars after a student found hidden cameras inside the bathroom, police say.

Pembroke Pines police said the owner may have had the cameras up and recording inside the bathroom since March.

Master Franco’s Taekwondo Academy is just a few blocks from the police department in Pembroke Pines. The studio has classes for kids and adults of all ages.

NBC 6's Julie Leonardi is in Pembroke Pines, where the owner of the studio is now behind bars after a 17 year-old student found the cameras in the bathroom.

Robert Franco, 64, faces charges of video voyeurism and tampering with physical evidence.

Police said a 17-year-old female student noticed two hidden cameras inside the martial arts studio bathroom. According to police, the student snapped a picture and then confronted Franco, who destroyed the cameras right after.

"So undoubtedly the video footage that was captured, the cameras were certainly positioned in such a fashion, that not only was the level of trust violated, but so too was their level or privacy for each and every victim," Pembroke Pines Police Captain Adam Feiner said.

Police said Franco tried to destroy the evidence, but police were able to recover some of the footage, which showed victims of all ages.

The studio's website — which was taken down by Monday — said it offered classes for young children and adults along with self-defense and Olympic training.

"A wide variety of victims being exposed at a time that’s most sensitive to the victims," Feiner said. "They were unclothed, they were unassuming and they were behind closed doors in a restroom, either using the bathroom or perhaps changing their clothes."

NBC 6 stopped by the Pines Boulevard studio, but the doors were locked. All of the signage was taken down Monday.

Police are searching for more potential victims and are asking anyone who has been to the studio or has children who have attended classes there to contact them. Police said it is likely that more charges will be filed.

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