Prosecutor Agrees to Drop Demand for Dick Pics of Accused Child Pornographer Loren Copp

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Loren Copp will have his hands, feet and stomach  — but not his penis — photographed as part of a child pornography investigation. - STEVE TRUESDELL
  • Steve Truesdell
  • Loren Copp will have his hands, feet and stomach — but not his penis — photographed as part of a child pornography investigation.
After careful consideration, federal prosecutors have decided they don't need to photograph Loren Copp's penis.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Winfield had sought a search warrant to force the former pastor and owner of Dojo Pizza to submit to a series of photographs of his stomach, feet, hands and genitals.

Magistrate Judge Noelle Collins had granted the request but delayed the photo shoot after Copp's attorneys from the Federal Public Defenders Office argued it was too intrusive. At a hearing on Wednesday, the two sides agreed Copp's other body parts could be photographed, but no dick pics.

"At this juncture we have no objection to not taking pictures of the genitalia," Winfield told the judge after a short conference with defense attorneys Charles Banks and Nanci McCarthy. 

Copp is facing charges of producing, attempting to produce and possessing child pornography after federal agents raided the former Bevo Mill church where he taught martial arts, ran a pizzeria and lived with four girls under the age of eighteen. He was the subject of a Riverfront Times cover story in December.
 
Federal agents and St. Louis police raided the building multiple times last fall, and prosecutors claim they found twisted pictures of young, naked girls on Copp's computer hard drives. One of the victims identified herself in photos that depicted a young girl and a grown man engaged in various sex acts, according to a search warrant affidavit. The girl also identified the man as Copp, authorities say.

Prosecutors had apparently hoped to match the photos on the computer to new pictures of Copp. 

There isn't a lot of legal precedent for that kind of thing, but Winfield cited a federal case in Iowa where a defendant was forced to have his hands photographed in a position that mimicked pictures of child porn he was accused of producing.

In the end, the argument was settled on Wednesday through the compromise between the prosecutor and public defenders.

The deal calls for Copp to be transported to the U.S. Marshal's office in the federal courthouse in St. Louis, where an FBI agent will photograph his hands, stomach and feet. Copp's lawyers say they reserve the right to argue against any of the pictures being introduced at trial.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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