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Area tennis pro arrested on child porn charges

EAST MANATEE — The owner of Creekside Tennis Center was arrested Monday night and charged with possession of child pornography.

According to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report, Donald Kristen Gagnon, who also goes by the name of Kris Gannon, was arrested at about 8 p.m. after an Internet Crimes Against Children Unit investigation.

Gannon, 60, is also the head tennis professional at the academy, in the 6700 block of 47th Avenue East.

The investigators received information from a local computer repair shop owner that a laptop computer Gannon brought to the store contained images depicting teenage boys posing nude and in their underwear.

The images were posted in a folder titled “students” on the hard drive.

The sheriff’s investigators seized the computer and obtained a search warrant.

After a full examination of the computer files, thousands of pictures of child erotica and children performing or posing in sexually explicit activities were found.

Gannon was being held in the Manatee County jail on $45,000 bond.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Detective Todd Sellitto at the sheriff's office at 747-3011, ext. 1909.

According to the academy's Web site, Gannon built the two-court facility and is rated a "Professional 1," the highest pro rating given by the United States Professional Tennis Association.

Gannon previously worked at Bath & Racquet Club in Sarasota, Bradenton Country Club and Holiday Inn on Longboat Key, according to the Web site. He also was a dock master for 20 years at Sunny Shores Marina in Bradenton, the site said.

“I enjoy introducing people of all ages to the sport that I love, and instructing them to play better,” Gannon is quoted as saying on the center's Web site. “I often point to the skills of concentration and focus.

“Teaching is a never-ending learning experience for me. I enjoy the outside and the challenge of creating a unique tennis environment for learning.

“I hope to encourage young junior players to enjoy the game and teach them the skills that will allow them to compete in tournaments.”

According to his Facebook profile, Gannon was a 1968 graduate of Manatee High School.

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