Wisconsin Police Crack Down on Sexual Predators and Those Distributing Child Pornography
With the prevalence of social media, it is not uncommon for young children to have social media profiles and spend a significant time browsing the internet. In some cases, these social media profiles are used by sexual predators to target children and develop inappropriate relationships with minors. Unfortunately, these crimes are not limited to a particular group. They include people from all walks of life and all ages.
Over the last few years, police have attempted to crack down on internet predators and the possession and distribution of child pornography. Different programs and software allow police to be able to monitor illegal activity and apprehend the perpetrators. Specifically, the Internet Crimes against Children task force in Wisconsin is designed to identify sexual predators on the internet and those distributing child pornography.
Child pornography is defined as any material that shows a child’s sex organs, alone or with someone else. Essentially, any obscene material involving a child or any material that depicts a child engaging in or simulating sexual acts is considered to be child pornography. This includes undeveloped film, photographs, photo negatives, recordings, and videos.
Possession or distribution of child pornography is illegal. Under Wisconsin sex crime laws, the perpetrator could face prison time, a criminal record, registration as a sex offender, and monetary fines. It is a serious crime, and, aside from all the legal ramifications, it is a crime that could ruin a person’s reputation and standing in the community.
The Internet Crimes against Children task force has conducted several undercover operations, posing as teenage girls and boys who scour the internet for sexual solicitation of young children and online child pornography. These undercover police officers would then respond to posts asking for sexual deeds or online pornography. Police would then analyze the interactions and ultimately catch the sexual predators. Earlier this year, eight men were taken into custody in Brown County through this method, while a number of men were arrested in Marathon County.
Under Wisconsin law, possession of child pornography constitutes a Class I Felony for defendants under the age of 18. For defendants over the age of 18, possession of child pornography is a Class D felony. In 2012, legislators established a mandatory, minimum three-year prison term for the felony offense. This development significantly reduced the judge’s ability to order lesser penalties based on the specifics of the particular case. The law is consistent with the general Wisconsin trend over the last decade of creating tougher sentences for violators of child pornography laws in the state.
If you are facing criminal charges, having a qualified attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case. At Reddin & Singer, our highly skilled Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys can help you understand the implications of the charges against you. Child pornography cases are very complex and must be handled by a reputable attorney who is well-versed in this area of law. We will assess the merits of your case and inform you of your legal rights and options. If you are unsure about your next steps, you will be glad to know we offer a free, no-obligation consultation to each prospective client. To learn more, contact us online or call us at (414) 271-6400.