Jury Trial Set for Ex-Church Official Charged with Child Pornography
Joel Hochmuth, 52, of Waukesha is out on $20,000 bail.
A jury trial has been set for former communications director for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod who faces up to 75 years in prison if convicted on three counts of possessing child pornography.
Joel W. Hochmuth will go before the jury March 13 and 14. A jury status hearing is scheduled for March 8.
Hochmuth was charged in November after detectives from the Waukesha Police Department met with a special agent from the FBI, who told detectives that Hochmuth was using the Internet handle “Skiguy10101” had child pornography on his computer depicting “pre-pubescent and adolescent boys engaged in various sexual acts,” according to a criminal complaint.
Hochmuth told authorities that the number of images found on his computer in Waukesha “was nothing compared to what they would find in his office,” the complaint states. Hochmuth denied downloading pornographic images on his work computer but police located three thumb drives at the WELS office in Wauwatosa, 2929 N Mayfair Rd., that had nine images and videos of young boys engaged in sexual acts, the complaint states. Authorities believe boys shown in the graphic pictures ranged from 10 to 14 years old.
Hochmuth was terminated from his position when the allegations came to light.