Allegations of Internet sex crimes involving child pornography are front page news here in Wisconsin and throughout the country. Law enforcement authorities regularly monitor peer-to-peer networks on the Internet, looking for evidence that child pornography has been downloaded. Once detected, authorities locate the account holders, and a warrant is obtained. The suspect soon finds the authorities knocking at his or her door. A search follows, computers are seized and charges leveled where evidence of internet sex crimes exist.
The suspect theoretically never need leave home to be arrested. They may not have talked to anyone, adult or minor. They may not have interacted with any person at all. The crime is charged simply for the possession of the objectionable child pornography. It is a serious crime that provides with penalties including jail and probation, fines, and registration as a sex offender.
On August 2, a 54-year-old former private investigator from Monona was arrested in his home on Arrowhead Drive and charged with 13 counts of possessing child pornography. Police claim the man was actually using a peer-to-peer network to download child pornography when they arrived.
He purportedly hid the laptop under a coach cushion, where it was discovered during the police search. He is said to have acknowledged to authorities he knew he was playing with fire. There is no allegation that he did anything other than download the illegal pornography found on his computer.
The man was released on a signature bond. He will now have to appear in court to defend his actions against the allegations. It does not appear he has had any other criminal law problems. Nevertheless, with such serious charges, the man will want to present a vigorous defense to achieve the most favorable outcome.
Like anyone, unless and until he is convicted of a crime, he remains innocent in the eyes of the law. It is always important to ensure the rights of the accused are protected and that the events leading up to a suspect's arrest are within the limits of the law. A Wisconsin attorney experienced in defense of Internet sex crimes may offer the man some solace and assistance as he confronts the charges against him.
Source: Madison, "Monona man charged with 13 counts of possessing child porn," Ed Treleven, Aug. 02, 2011