The state of Wisconsin maintains that any person who possesses images of children engaged in sexual activity has committed a crime. The sexual exploitation of a child through the possession of child pornography is considered a Class I felony. A 28-year-old Appleton, Wisconsin man will learn firsthand how serious accusations of this nature are following his recent arrest in Outagamie County.
The man was charged with five counts of child pornography possession. Each of his five felony charges corresponds with one image found by authorities on his computer equipment. Officials conducted an investigation after members of an Internet chat room alerted them to some questionable comments the man had made about a sexual encounter he had with a 3-year-old child. The man told authorities he only made the comment to get a rise out of other members of the chat room, but later admitted to downloading illicit images of children for his own sexual gratification. Upon completing a search of the man's computer equipment, authorities located a number of questionable files.
The man is now being held on $30,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 11 for preliminary proceedings. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines for each of his five counts.
For individuals convicted of the sexual exploitation of a child through the possession of child pornography, the consequences usually include penalties that go beyond prison time and fines. In Wisconsin, sentencing often includes mandatory reporting, probation and sex offender registry. Convicted individuals are typically prohibited from working or living within a specified proximity of a school or day care, or public place frequented by children. Obviously, with so much at stake, anyone accused of crimes like these will want to arrange as vigorous a defense as possible.
Source: The Appleton Post-Crescent, "Brandon Daul of Little Chute charged with child porn counts,", 21 June, 2011.