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Local Pizza Parlor Owner, Pastor Found Guilty in Child Sex Case

Prosecutors say 49-year-old Copp groomed and sexually abused two minor girls and tried to get others to send him explicit photos.

December 26, 2018 - 3:21 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) - A former pastor and owner of a St. Louis pizza parlor and martial arts studio has been found guilty of eight federal charges related to child sex abuse.

U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Fleissig on Wednesday found Dojo Pizza's Loren "Sensei'' Copp guilty of charges including three counts of production and attempted production of child pornography.

Copp faces between 15 years and life in prison. His sentencing is April 5.

Prosecutors say 49-year-old Copp groomed and sexually abused two minor girls and tried to get others to send him explicit photos. Authorities found a fake e-mail account, where Copp pretended to be a school enforcment officer and threatened the young girls if they didn't participate in sex acts.

Copp was arrested in 2016 on accusations that he possessed and attempted to produce child pornography over a several-year period. Prosecutors said several underage girls lived at Dojo Pizza, located in the Bevo Mill neighborhood.

An Associated Press request for comment to the jail where Copp is being held was not immediately returned Wednesday.

He only answered ``yes'' when asked Wednesday by the judge whether he understood the verdict.