Law enforcement agencies in Lakeland, Florida announced today the arrest of a vicious young pedophile who's world-renowned in the Gymnastics sport who they say was in possession of countless child pornography.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office said that they began investigating 21-year-old Alexander Katchalov after being contacted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The NCMEC determined that someone from an IP address used by Katchalov was both sending and receiving known images and videos of prepubescent children being forcibly raped by adults, with many of the children being as young as just three years old.
Sheriff Grady of the Polk County Sheriff's Office said that Katchalov works at the<a href="www.eliteworldgymnastics.com"> Elite World Gymnastics Training Complex </a>located at 5390 State Road 33 in Lakeland, Florida.
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The Elite World Gymnastics websites says of the company, “At Elite World Gymnastics we offer a program that can meet your child’s and your family’s needs. We have girls and boy’s recreational gymnastics for all levels, competition team gymnastics, cheerleading, aerial acrobatics, trampoline, tumbling, and so much more.”
The website also 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.
Sheriff Grady Judd says that by the “much more” description, it appears as if Katchalov had perverse and disturbing intentions.
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After the Polk County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Katchalov had indeed downloaded the horrific videos and images, they then obtained a search warrant for his home at 2560 Old Combee Road in Lakeland, Florida and the gymnasium where he works.
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Inside they would seize hard drives, laptops, desktop computers, cameras, and any mobile devices belonging to Katchalov. Forensics teams examined the evidence only to discover numerous videos of young children being sodomized and raped, varying between the ages of 3-years-old to 12-years-old.
Sheriff Judd said his investigators have determined Katchalov even posed as a child online to get other children to send him nude photos of themselves.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s really sickening if you saw some of the things my detectives have to see while they’re investigating,” Sheriff Judd said.
During an interrogation, Katchalov openly admitted he was a pedophile who's attracted to toddlers and said that he had been engaged in downloading child pornography since at least 2011.
Katchalov denied ever engaging in any sexual behavior with students at the training complex, but Sheriff Judd isn't convinced.
It’s obvious to me he couldn’t control his problem,” Sheriff Judd told reporters. “
"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."
While Sheriff Judd doesn't want parents of children who attended the Elite World Gymnastics Training Complex to worry, he also says it's imperative they talk to their children and find out if Katchalov has ever so much as attempted to coax them into some sort of physical or emotional relationship with him.
“There’s absolutely no evidence Alexander has done that at this time, but we want to make sure we don’t miss anything at all.”
Katchalov has now been charged with 22 felony counts of possession of child pornography, after a sole picture and 21 videos of young boys and girls between ages of three and twelve were found. Each of the videos of the toddler aged children are said to have “portrayed them in an obscene manner and being sexually battered,” said Sheriff Judd.
<a href="http://www.polksheriff.org/NewsRoom/Pages/1302018-.aspx"><b>The official press release on the Polk County Sheriff's Office website says the following:</b></a>
<blockquote>“Make no mistake, those who view, possess, buy, and trade child pornography are complicit in the crime against the child depicted in the images. Our primary concern in this investigation is to find out if there are any local victims. Our forensic experts will be searching the devices we have seized today to determine the scope of illegal material that he possesses or has transmitted. It makes all of us angry that someone who has regular access to graphic child pornography also has regular access to children. We encourage anyone who has reason to believe that there has been any inappropriate contact between Alexander Katchalov and a child to contact us.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff</blockquote>
<a href="http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/sheriff-gymnastics-coach-admits-to-years-of-downloading-child-porn">FOX 13 </a>says that after Katchalov was detained authorized discovered “thousands and thousands” more sexually explicit images on his computers.
"If a child has ever come home and said he or she was inappropriately touched, we want to know about it," Sheriff Judd said.
If anyone has any information about Alexander Katchalov that could assist in the case they're urged to contact the Heartland Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-226-8477.
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