Downers Grove gymnastics coach charged with making child porn

John Garcia Image
Thursday, June 9, 2022
Downers Grove gymnastics coach charged with making child porn
A Downers Grove former gymnastics coach and day-care worker has been charged not only with posession but with manufacturing child pornography.

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- A 30-year-old Downers Grove man is being held on $600,000 bond for allegedly manufacturing child pornography with at least two underage victims.

DuPage Sheriff's investigators said their digital forensics unit was able to find evidence of child pornography on computers belonging to Wyatt Kopka. He is charged not only with possession but manufacturing child pornography.

Investigators said they have found two victims so far; a 13-year-old boy and an 18-year-old boy who was underage at the time of the alleged abuse. Investigators said they also found text messages where he was allegedly grooming other potential victims.

"It starts out with a casual conversation and as he makes them more comfortable through these conversations then more things are suggested. He's getting to the point of requesting naked photos," said DuPage County Sheriff's Office Chief Bob Toerpe.

Kopka was arrested in May and has been in jail ever since.

Detectives said Kopka worked as a gymnastics coach and also a daycare employee at the Elite Sports Complex in Downers Grove.

Elite Sports Complex said he was a long-time employee of about 10 years, but was not employed at the time of his arrest; he resigned days earlier.

His coworkers never suspected any wrongdoing and the school does annual background checks on all employees.

Investigators said it's unclear how long this has been going on and are asking any other potential victims to contact them.

"I won't get into specifics of the video but we can put him as the creator of the video with no problem," Toerpe said.

Kopka is due to be arraigned Thursday morning. If found guilty, he faces up to 120 years in prison.

In a statement Thursday morning, Elite Sports said:

"Elite Sports Complex is shocked and devastated over the arrest and very troubling and serious criminal charges filed against a former employee, Wyatt Kopka. DuPage County investigators have assured us that they have found no evidence that any criminal or improper physical offense took place at our gym.

"However, they are investigating whether Kopka engaged in inappropriate or possible criminal communication with several of our gymnastics students away from our facility. There are no words to describe our great concern for our students and their families and our deep sense of betrayal.

"Elite's focus has always been on the well-being and safety of our participants and their families. All of our coaches, including former employee Wyatt Kopka, undergo routine background checks and safety training. In Kopka's case, we followed AAU guidelines for coaches and did background checks every year. The most recent one was done in 2021 and nothing negative came up.

"This is a very difficult and unsettling time for our gym community. Elite will continue to assist the authorities with their ongoing investigation."