I’m talking about the case involving 38 year-old Kevin L. Peeples (also known as “Joseph Dansen” and “Mark Diablo”) of Waukesha who was arrested August 16 for possessing a stunning amount of child pornography on his computer. Peeples was charged with one count of child sexploitation and 10 counts of child pornography possession.
What was particularly disturbing in this case was the fact that the alleged perpetrator had some 450,000 pornographic images of children on his computer, including several videos of sex acts being performed on toddlers. According to the complaint, one 17-minute video depicted an unidentified man and woman sexually assaulting a child suspected of being only a year old.
Think about that - 450,000 images!
This is just a massive, staggering amount of child pornography. It takes only one or two such pictures to be cause for grave concern. On the legal front, the laws have shifted in recent years and, if Peeples is convicted, each one of those counts could result in what we call a presumptive minimum prison sentence. He could get up to 290 years in prison and $1.1 million in fines.
Regrettably, as outrageous as this particular case is, we’re seeing more and more prosecution of child pornography cases these days. It used to be that courts had the discretion to put someone on probation even in child pornography cases. However, that discretion is no longer there. The presumptive minimum prison sentence means just what it says. If convicted, the law says Peeples must go to prison.
One’s heart just has to go out to parents of small children these days because there are so many sick, twisted minds out there posing such unspeakable danger. Raising and protecting our little ones has become a monumental job in the face of these hideous crimes.
As is true in this particular case, child pornography is being rapidly transmitted across the country through the use of Internet file sharing networks. In these peer-to-peer networks, it’s very easy for people to watch, trade or download these kinds of photos and videos. Often, the Wisconsin Department of Justice will put out this same kind of material in an effort to catch those that try to view or download it to their personal computers.
There’s an obvious lesson parents can learn from a case like this. If you see a peer-to-peer video or photo sharing network on your child’s computer, make sure you check it out to make sure he or she is not involved in any type of questionable activity. The penalties for doing so are quite severe and an ounce of prevention is definitely worth the pound of cure – and your own personal peace of mind.
About Attorney Mark
Attorney Mark Powers is a partner at the criminal defense law firm of Huppertz & Powers, S.C. in Waukesha. Previously, Powers served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Waukesha County District Attorney's office and is currently serving as a municipal judge in North Prairie. He focuses in the area of criminal defense, and has handled many cases involving operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, domestic disputes, and drug offenses.
Powers attended Valparaiso University School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctorate. Prior to law school, Mark attended the University of Wisconsin, Lacrosse where he received his bachelor of science in Political Science.
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