Former owner of bowling alley sentenced for corruption of boys

By jeanne starmack

mercer, pa.

The former owner of a bowling alley was sentenced for corruption of minors Friday for inappropriate behavior with 12 young boys who spent nights at his business.

James Kopan, 47, who owned Tornado Alley in Coolspring Township, was sentenced by Mercer County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Dobson to 27 to 84 months in state prison.

Prosecutors had alleged that Kopan engaged in lewd and inappropriate conduct, including showing the boys pornography and having them slide naked down oiled tarps on sleepovers between 2008 and 2010.

He pleaded no contest in February to five counts of corruption of minors, and officials dropped other charges.

“James Kopan is a monster who has ruined the lives of many innocent boys,” said the mother of one of the children before the sentencing.

“He deserves the maximum sentence,” she said. “Please do the children justice.”

Kopan said he was sorry, but called the accounts of what had happened “exaggerated.”

“I’m taking the blame for a lot of things I wasn’t involved in, but I didn’t stop it,” he said. “I’d like to apologize for my role.”

Judge Dobson said the offenses required incarceration.

“Did you rape them? No,” he said. “Did you damage them? Yes. That requires incarceration.”

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