Alexander Katchalov Arrested on Child Porn Charges

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Alexander Katchalov USA Gymnastics USA Gymnastics

A 21-year-old gymnast from Florida has been arrested and charged with position of child pornography in the latest scandal to rock the sport. Alexander Katchalov was taken into custody on January 30 by the Polk County Sheriff in Lakeland, Florida, just outside of Tampa. Katchalov is a coach at Elite World Gymnastics Training Complex in the town. In total, Katchalov is charged with 22 counts of child pornography and is being held at Polk County Jail. Additional charges are pending in the case.

WFLA reports that detectives found 21 videos and images of boys and girls “being sexually battered or displayed in a lewd manner.” The station says that Katchalov has admitted to downloading child pornography and has been doing so since 2011. The suspect has also said that he never abused a child and that he thought he had his problem under control. The children in question were between the ages of 3 and 12 years old.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told the media that Katchalov coached children between the ages of 3 and 15. According to the gym’s website, it is operated by Katchalov’s parents, Misha and Irina. The Fox Tampa Bay report says that detectives found “thousands and thousands” of files related to child pornography, some of the devices for downloading were located at the training complex.

The WFLA report includes the information that Katchalov told authorities that he would go online posing as a teenager in attempts to solicit child pornography. According to Fox Tampa Bay, the sheriff’s department were led to Katchlov thanks to a tip.