St. Louis martial arts studio and pizzeria owner convicted of sex crimes against children

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ST. LOUIS – Brave young women got justice Wednesday as a judge found a former pastor and owner of a south St. Louis martial arts studio and pizzeria guilty of sex crimes.

Judge Audrey Fleissig said Loren Copp used five young women, who were minors at the time, for sex and child pornography.

“These are very brave victims. They always are in these types of cases. They’re tough cases but they went in there and testified and the judge believed them and that’s the most important thing,” said US Attorney Jeffrey Jensen.

Copp, 49, was accused of producing and possessing child pornography and using interstate facilities to coerce a minor to engage in sexual acts — nine counts in all. He was convicted on all counts except the use of interstate facilities charge.

“Their testimony was pivotal,” Jensen said. “Of course, it’s supported by all of the other evidence but their testimony was extremely important and we’re grateful for them and their bravery.”

Dojo Pizza was a combination restaurant and martial arts studio, located in the Bevo neighborhood, that operated as a non-profit to support free karate classes.

According to investigators, Copp groomed two girls at his business and then sexually abused them multiple times per week. Copp also took pictures of his victims while he raped them. This had been going on since 2009.- READ MORE

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