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James Kivisto sentenced to 17+ years in prison for recording juveniles while they changed

RACINE — A Racine County judge sentenced James Kivisto on Friday, Feb. 15 to 17 years and three months in prison — and another 30 years of extended supervision. Kivisto is the gymnastics coach accused of possessing and recording pornographic video of students.

In December, Kivisto agreed to a plea deal in the case. He pleaded no contest to 16 of 46 charges against him. Kivisto was then convicted on three counts of possession of child pornography, three counts of invade privacy, use surveillance device and 10 counts of invade privacy, use surveillance device (victim less than 18 years old).

James Kivisto

Prosecutors said Kivisto admitted to recording juveniles while they changed on “multiple occasions.” The Racine County sheriff said he kept a ledger that included the names of 803 children. The pictures and video were discovered in March 2018. Investigators say they may never know for sure the extent of the digital and sexual crimes.

The prosecutor said he offered the plea deal to Kivisto so the victims would not have to testify during a trial.

Wind Lake Gymnastics Center

Kivisto owned and operated the Wind Lake Gymnastics Center for approximately 11 years, and also lived at the business. He coached gymnastics since 1987 in both Racine County and Milwaukee County. He was suspended by USA Gymnastics at the start of this investigation.

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