St. Louis, MO – After an eleven-day bench trial in May, U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Fleissig returned guilty verdicts on eight counts, involving four victims, relating to child exploitation and child pornography produced and possessed by Loren “Sensei” Copp, former owner of Dojo Pizza located at 4601 Morganford Road.
According to testimony at trial, Copp held himself out to be a trusted member of the community as a youth pastor, community activist, martial arts instructor, and business owner. He used these positions to gain the trust of parents to gain access to their children. For several years defendant Copp groomed and sexually abused two minor females who had been in his custody since 2009. The grooming process began when defendant Copp began touching the victims’ buttocks while playing “the butt game,” which then led to him touching their vaginas and breasts. Eventually, Copp began having sex with both girls, and he would record the sex acts with a cell phone or video recorder. While at the Dojo Pizza property, Copp would have sex with each girl multiple times a week, and while there he took pornographic pictures of one victim’s genitals and breasts. Copp would also watch pornography with one of the victims in his office at the Dojo Pizza property.
During trial, there was also evidence of Facebook chats between two additional minor female victims and a Facebook account utilized by Copp, which purported to be used by a 13 year-old named “Chrissy.” The aforementioned Facebook account depicted a facial image of a minor female for the profile picture, and this same Facebook profile picture of “Chrissy” was found on Copp’s computer, along with multiple pornographic images of the three victims that were sent to the “Chrissy” Facebook account. Additionally, within the Facebook chats between “Chrissy” and the minor victims, there were multiple references to sexual activity and/or sexually explicit conduct occurring between the victims, as well as one particular victim and Copp. Also, there were coercive and deceptive emails sent from a Yahoo email account directed towards one minor victim, which were between Copp’s Gmail account and the Yahoo account. The majority of the these Yahoo emails were sent from the same IP address attached to emails sent/received from Copp’s Gmail account. The subscriber information and backup emails used for the “Chrissy” Facebook account, as well as the Yahoo email account, were linked to Copp.
Copp, 49, St. Louis, MO, was indicted on April 14, 2016 on nine counts, to include production and attempted production of child pornography; possession of child pornography; and the use of interstate facilities to persuade or coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity. Sentencing has been set for April 5, 2019.
“The bravery of the victims who testified at trial was essential to this case,” said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen. “Without them and the relentless work of the investigative and trial teams, these verdicts would not have been rendered.”
Three counts of production of child pornography and attempted production of child pornography carry fifteen year mandatory minimum sentences. Two other counts of criminal enticement carry life maxima. Therefore, Copp faces a term of fifteen years to life at sentencing.