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Former pastor, owner of St. Louis pizza shop gets 65 years in prison for child sex crimes

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ST. LOUIS -- The owner of Dojo Pizza in south St. Louis was sentenced to 65 years in prison for federal child sex crimes.

In 2018, Loren Copp was found guilty of eight separate counts, including producing and possession of child pornography over a six-year period. U.S. Judge Audrey Fleissig ordered $294,000 in restitution.

He rejected a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for 15 years.

According to prosecutors, several underage girls lived at Dojo Pizza, which is located on Morganford in the Bevo Mill neighborhood. Copp either had sole custody or care of the girls because their parents were incarcerated or homeless, authorities said. Copp groomed, sexually abused, and raped two young girls who had been in his custody since 2009.

The sexual acts were recorded on a cellphone or video recorder.

Copp allegedly forced the girls to work at the pizza shop and did not pay them appropriately or provide consistent food. He is also accused of threatening to kick the girls out when they didn’t work, which would leave them homeless.

The trial included evidence of Facebook messages between three girls and a fake account Copp used pretending to be a 13-year-old girl named “Chrissy." The profile picture on the account was of a young girl. Investigators found that photo on Copp’s computer, along with other pornographic images of the three victims that were sent to “Chrissy's” Facebook page.

Investigators found conversations that referenced sexual acts that occurred between the three girls. In addition, subscriber information and backup emails used for the “Chrissy” Facebook account, as well as a Yahoo email account, were linked to Copp.

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