Federal judge expected to announce verdict in Dojo Pizza child pornography case

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS - A verdict will be announced Wednesday (Dec. 26) in the child sex trial of a former pastor and owner of Dojo Pizza in south St. Louis. Loren Copp faces nine felony counts for alleged sex crimes against girls.

Copp is accused of producing and possessing child pornography and using interstate facilities to coerce a minor to engage in sexual acts.

According to investigators, Copp groomed two girls at his business and then sexually abused them.  Copp is accused of taking pictures of his victims while he raped them.

Dojo Pizza was a combination restaurant and martial arts studio that operated as a non-profit to support free karate classes.

Police responded to Dojo Pizza on Morganford in the fall of 2015 in response to calls Copp was contributing to the delinquency of a minor and endangering the welfare of a child.  At the time, Copp told Fox 2 police said his building was not up to code and he had an unlocked handgun which endangered his children's lives.

"There is no human trafficking.  There is no sex trafficking of children.  I have not been charged with anything along those lines," Copp told Fox 2 at that time.

After a third girl came forward, Dojo Pizza was raided the following month.  Police found child pornography on Copp's computers during the raid.

During the trial, prosecutors said Copp used fake Facebook and email accounts to communicate with his victims.

Copp represented himself in the 10-day bench trial which ended in April.  Copp has been in jail since then awaiting the judge's decision.

If convicted, Copp faces 30 years to life in federal prison.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.