Former Missouri pastor gets 65 years in prison for filming himself repeatedly raping two girls in his pizzeria
The man identified as Loren Copp was convicted on eight federal counts of child sexual exploitation and enticement last year, involving at least four victims
ST LOUIS, MISSOURI: A 50-year-old former pastor and pizzeria owner has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for repeatedly raping two young girls in his care and producing child pornography, reports state. The man, identified as Loren Copp, was convicted on eight federal counts of child sexual exploitation and enticement last year, involving at least four victims, two of them aged nine and eleven.
On December 27, the US District Court sentenced him to federal prison and he was ordered to pay $294,000 in restitution. Copp had previously rejected a plea deal carrying a prison sentence of 15 years, the Riverfront Times reported.
Copp, also a karate instructor who ran Dojo Pizza out of a defunct church in St Louis, groomed and sexually abused two sisters who had been in his custody since 2009, according to federal prosecutors. Authorities added that the children ended up living at Copp's pizza shop, which also served as a community center, because their parents were either imprisoned, homeless or battling drug addiction.
Copp began grooming the victims for abuse by playing the "butt game" as an excuse to touch their buttocks. This eventually led him to touch their breasts and privates. Some of the abuse reportedly occurred when Copp's then-wife was away from home.
A statement from the US Justice Department said: "Eventually, Copp began raping both girls, and he would record the sex acts with a cell phone or video recorder. While at the Dojo Pizza property, Copp would rape each girl multiple times a week, and while there he took pornographic pictures of one victim’s genitals and breasts."
Copp allegedly also forced the girls to work at the pizzeria as waitresses clad in karate uniforms for little or no pay. The former pastor also denied the children food and threatened to kick them out if they did not work, according to KMOV.
Copp had also created a fake Facebook account pretending to be a 13-year-old girl named 'Chrissy'. He used the fake profile to convince three underage girls to send him naked pictures of themselves during 'truth or dare' games, according to evidence provided during Copp's federal trial in 2018. One of his victims reportedly told prosecutors that she had attempted to commit suicide in the aftermath of the sexual abuse she had suffered at Copp's hands.