Child pornography found in Racine County gymnastics center

The owner admitted to filming children changing
Posted at 6:49 PM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-13 23:15:26-04

The owner of a gymnastics center in Racine County has been arrested after authorities found hidden cameras and child pornography images at his business.

According to the Racine County Sheriff's Office, detectives responded to a call about a hidden camera found by a parent Tuesday at Wind Lake Gymnastics Center.

During a search warrant the same day, investigators seized multiple surveillance cameras and computers and found images of child pornography on those computers.

James Kivisto, 49, was arrested and taken to jail. He is the owner and coach at Wind Lake Gymnastics and according to the Racine County Sheriff, he admitted to recording juveniles while they were changing in the bathroom on multiple occasions. 

"Horrible, I mean it’s devastating," said Melinda Swain, who learned about Kivisto's arrest while dropping her child off for tumbling class.

Kivisto has been coaching gymnastics since 1987 in both Racine and Milwaukee Counties. He's owned and operated the Wind Lake center for the past 11 years.

Swain says she never had any suspicions that something criminal was going on.

"The kids all I thought liked him," she said. "He made everyone feel real comfortable. It seemed that way." 

"I never felt any weirdness about him," she also said.

Kivisto is being held on multiple counts of possession of child pornography.

According to the gym's website, Wind Lakes Gymnastics Center is a USA-Gymnastics Member Club and must meet certain requirements. The owner and coaches are background checked every two years.

A call in to a spokesperson with USA-Gymnastics was not immediately returned.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information regarding Kivisto is urged to contact the Racine County Sheriff's Office at 262-636-3990.

Parents whose children attend Wind Lake Gymnastics Center are also encouraged to call and speak with an investigator.