Sheriff: Gymnastics coach admits to years of downloading child porn

- A gymnastics coach whose parents own Elite World Gymnastics Training Complex has admitted to years of viewing and downloading child pornography, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Alexander Katchalov, 21, teaches gymnastics to young children and teens at the gym owned by his parents, Mikhail and Irina Katchalov.

Investigators found "thousands and thousands" of files believed to be child pornography on computers used by Katchalov, some of which were at the Elite World Gymnastics Training Complex, according to Judd.

Judd said a tip that Katchalov was downloading child pornography led to the execution of a search warrant at the gym and, when confronted, Katchalov admitted he has been downloading child pornography since 2011.

Investigators say they found 21 videos and one image "depicting boys and girls between the ages of 3-12 being sexually battered or displayed in a lewd manner."

Judd said Katchalov has also gone online and pretended to be a young child, both a boy and a girl, in an effort to obtain child pornography.

Sheriff Judd said there is no evidence, at this time, that Katchalov abused any children at the complex nor did he create any pornography materials himself.

"We know those that download and engage in child porn, both still photographs and videos, have a proclivity to or are subject to abusing children. There's absolutely no evidence Alexander has done that at this time," Judd said. "But there are a lot of people who do business here and they have very young children down to three years of age... We want to make sure we don't miss anything at all."

Judd also had a message for parents of children who may have come in contact with Katchalov.

"If a child has ever come home and said he or she was inappropriately touched, we want to know about it," Judd said.

Katchalov faces 22 counts of possession of child pornography and additional charges are pending.

The USA Gymnastics website says Katchalov competed in several national and international competitions, including the World Age Group Competitions in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Daytona Beach, Florida in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

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