Police say ex-sports editor admitted to child sex abuse image addiction
CANDIA — A former sports editor for the Portsmouth Herald allegedly told police he was “addicted” to child pornography and had viewed potentially hundreds to thousands of images over the last five years, according to a police affidavit.
Frank Coppola, 39, of Nottingham waived a probable cause hearing on Aug. 20 in 10th Circuit Court, Candia Division.
Coppola faces a single count of possession of child sex abuse images. Details about the investigation into Coppola were outlined in a police affidavit.
An investigation into Coppola began on July 7 after Google alerted authorities that a Gmail address with the name “clubber4900” was allegedly linked to an image of a 5-year-old girl and an adult woman, according to a sworn affidavit by Nottingham police Sgt. Ross Oberlin.
Police said they interviewed Coppola in the parking lot of the Seacoast Media Building in Portsmouth on July 8, where he was told about the investigation and the image linked to his e-mail address.
“I’m addicted,” Coppola allegedly said in response, according to the affidavit. “During the next 15 minutes, Frank Coppola stated repeatedly, he knows what he has done was wrong, but he can’t stop himself.”
Coppola allegedly told police that, “the images he chose to view changed for him over time. He said he progressed to child pornography years ago,” Oberlin said in the affidavit.
Coppola also told police about web sites he visits, participating in chat rooms “where he received child movie files and images,” according to Oberlin.
“Frank Coppola also described his writings in these chat rooms to include fantasies and what he would do with some of the children he had viewed,” Oberlin said in the affidavit. “Coppola stated he has never acted out any of his fantasies.”
Coppola allowed police to search his Nottingham home on July 9. Police seized a desktop computer at the home.
Coppola sat down with police for a second interview where he allegedly claimed to have viewed possibly “thousands of images” over a five year period.
Asked to describe some of the videos he watched, Coppola allegedly said, “(They’re) explicit videos of adults molesting kids. I guess (it’s) the best way to put it,” according to the affidavit. Police said they recovered thumbnail sized images on the computer associated with known child pornography, but that the hard drive “did not reveal obvious child sexual abuse imagery.”
Coppola’s case has been bound over to county attorney’s office for possible indictment.