DA: Gym owner filmed girls, now charged with possession of child pornography

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James Kivisto
James Kivisto

WIND LAKE – The owner of a gymnastics center in Wind Lake has been charged with possession of child pornography after he set up a video camera in the bathroom.

James Kivisto, 49, of Wind Lake, was charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday. If convicted of all charges, he faces up to life in prison and/or fines up to $1 million.

A witness found a camera in the bathroom on Monday at the Wind Lake Gymnastics Center.

According to the criminal complaint, a witness told law enforcement officials with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department that he took the camera home and while looking at the video, he saw Kivisto setting up the camera. It also showed a high school-aged girl adjusting her hair. The person spoke to a couple of people and contacted law enforcement.

When investigators interviewed Kivisto he told them he “placed the camera in the bathroom, then he uses the photos and video to masturbate.”

He also saved some of the videos that were of young girls that are 12 and older. But videos of toddlers were also found.

Investigators executed a search warrant and seized a number of surveillance cameras and computers at the Wind Lake Gymnastics Centers that contained numerous images of child pornography.

“James Kivisto has owned and operated Wind Lake Gymnastic Center for approximately the past 11 years,” according to a press release by the Racine County Sheriff’s Department. “Furthermore, Kivisto has coached gymnastics since 1987 in both Racine County and Milwaukee County. James Kivisto admits that he has recorded Juveniles while changing in the bathroom at Wind Lake Gymnastic Center on multiple occasions.”

When officials searched Kivisto’s computer they found “a large number of photos and videos of young children getting dressed and undressed,” the complaint reads.

Kivisto is being held on a $150,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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