ALLEN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Secret recordings, a sordid text and a fitness community in Allen left furious and betrayed.
A popular coach and part owner of a CrossFit gym was arrested and charged with online solicitation of a minor and invasive visual recording.
This was not the Eric Bedunah that most of them thought they knew.
“He’s a father, he’s a husband, he’s a coach,” said a father and former client whose name CBS 11 is not disclosing for privacy reasons. “I thought he was was a great person.”
Those former friends now say the “family man” was a predator looking for an opportunity.
“As a parent, I felt like a failure, because I didn’t protect our daughter,” admits the teen’s mother.
The couple says Bedunah coached their daughter at Allen CrossFit while also quietly grooming her for months. Then came the text that went too far.
“He sent a naked picture of himself,” says her father. Their daughter told a school resource officer. Then Allen Police launched an investigation and the sense of betrayal would spread.
“That led them to execute a search warrant and confirm there had been a hidden camera in the women’s restroom,” adds the father at the CrossFit gym.
“Shocked. Horrified,” say the couple, almost in unison. And still they are so very grateful that a teenager found the courage to come forward.
“I’d like to call her a savior,” adds her mother. “I feel like she saved a lot of children and saved a lot of women from this abuse.”
Her father says the change in her was instant and explained some of the struggles of prior months. “I could almost physically see the weight lifted off her shoulders once she came forward.”
Allen Police and CrossFit gym partners have confirmed that Bedunah was terminated as soon as the accusations surfaced and has no current involvement with the facility.
In a statement, CrossFit partners told CBS 11 “Our hearts go out to everyone who was affected by his conduct, as we remain committed to the safety and unity of our entire CrossFit Allen community.”
Bedunah turned himself into police last week and has since been released on bond, but these grieving parents want to see him in jail.
“My daughter has been confined in her own jail…she has kept this secret inside. I think it only seems right that he serves his time.”