Crime & Courts

Downers Grove gymnastics coach faces child porn charges

A Clarendon Hills man who spent the last decade coaching gymnastics for children ages 2-17 in Downers Grove faces multiple child pornography charges, according to a DuPage County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Wyatt Kopka, 30, of the 5700 block of Concord Lane, is in custody on $600,000 bond charged with five counts of possession of child pornography. Kopka is also known to have coached and worked under the name Shannon D. Kopka, authorities said.

The DuPage County Sheriff’s Office Digital Forensic Investigation Unit along with the Clarendon Hills Police Department executed a search warrant at Kopka’s residence on May 4 following an Internet investigation into the possession and distribution of child pornography files. A computer forensic examination of Kopka’s electronics devices revealed the presence of child pornography files, the release stated.

Once Wyatt was taken into custody on May 10, the investigation continued and further analysis of Kopka’s electronic items was conducted. On June 7, DuPage County prosecutors indicted Kopka with an additional seven felony counts that are related to crimes against children, according to the release.

The additional charges include multiple counts of manufacture/production of child pornography, which is a Class X felony. If convicted of all charges, Kopka could face a sentence of between 47 and 120 years in prison, according to the release.

“I’d like to personally acknowledge the professional work done in this case by Detective Jeff Godfrey and the Digital Forensic Unit to keep the investigation going even after the suspect was in custody,” DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick said in the release. “These are very heinous and sensitive cases, when the suspect is a person of trust or influence, that require a certain finesse as the allegations likely affect entire families and communities.”

Kopka will be arraigned at his next court appearance, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 9.

“I commend Sheriff Mendrick and his Digital Forensic Investigation Unit for their truly outstanding efforts on this case which resulted in the filling of additional charges against the defendant,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release. “Child pornography is not a victimless crime and each of these additional allegations represents an additional previously unknown victim for which Mr. Kopka will now face charges.”

Any person wanting to report information related to this investigation is encouraged to contact the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office Digital Forensics Unit at 630-407-2312.