The Confrontation Clause in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that, "in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right...to be confronted with the witnesses against him." The courts have read this to mean that criminal defendants have the right to fully confront any evidence brought against them.
Child pornography is, by nature, a very sensitive, taboo topic. This is probably quite clear to a Waukesha man who recently made his first court appearance for possessing child pornography. His bond was set at $10,000.
Criminal offenses involving children are severely punished in Milwaukee and elsewhere. Some of these crimes may involve police Internet sting operations which target defendants who would not have possessed child pornography had it not been for these circumstances. For some defendants facing an Internet criminal offense, entrapment may be a viable defense. Recently, a Wisconsin county sheriff's deputy assisted in arresting a man for possession of child pornography.
What are the penalties do people face if they are convicted of possessing child pornography? What are the present and long term consequences of being convicted of an Internet crime? How do penalties as a convicted sex offender differ from penalties as an individual convicted of child pornography? A Milwaukee teacher who was recently charged with possession of child pornography may be asking these and other similar questions.
Access to the Internet is becoming easier every day, leading to widespread use of many websites. This access has led to greater prosecution of Internet crimes, such as cyberstalking, sexual exploitation of a child and the possession and distribution of child pornography. Recently, a Wisconsin man was convicted of child pornography. He now faces potentially severe penalties.
In cases in which those accused of serious crimes face mounting evidence, a meaningful strategic plan may be used as a way to obtain a lesser punishment. Sometimes, it may be to the defendant's advantage to plead guilty to an offense if he or she is offered a plea agreement that will reduce the possible penalties associated with the offense. Recently, a Milwaukee man pled guilty to Internet crime charges in court.
A person accused or convicted of a sex-related crime faces life-altering challenges. In Wisconsin, and throughout the nation, there are serious penalties for possession of child pornography. A person who is convicted of a sex offense may suffer consequences, including bans from communities and prejudice from co-workers and neighbors. If a coach or a teacher is accused of a sex-related offense, their reputation may forever be tarnished. A coach in a nearby state could face these consequences after being charged with two counts of child sex-related offenses.
Individuals charged with child sex crimes often feel at a complete loss because the public and media often make harsh judgments before even knowing the facts of a case. Sometimes people who used to be friends no longer are, and even family members might turn their backs after hearing of a sex crime allegation. In Wisconsin, public response to charges of Internet sex crimes tends to be no different.
Wisconsin law may change with regard to how attempted child enticement is prosecuted. Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen supports a bill that is currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. If the bill is passed, state law would treat attempted child enticement the same as actually carrying out the crime.
Illinois police arrested a 20-year-old man on child pornography charges this March, and on October 12 he was found guilty of one count of aggravated possession of child pornography. According to the Wheaton police, an undercover internet investigation prompted the arrest. While this particular incident did not involve direct sexual exploitation of a child, some may claim that viewing child pornography constitutes exploitation in and of itself. As part of the man's sentencing conditions, DuPage County officials were cooperating with the Wisconsin Department of Probation to allow for the man to move to Wisconsin to be near relatives while serving out his prison term.