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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 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.

Judy Jones February 03, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Let's hope that others who have knowledge or may have been harmed will have the courage to contact police. Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others. Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511 <snapjudy@gmail.com> "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy. (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Hank Williams February 04, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Out of true love for Joel and possible victims please speak up. He and they will be helped and out of true love never let someone sit alone in their sin. Put the sin in the Son-light. The devil dos his work in the dark he counts on shame and keeping quiet. Trust God as He always brings light from darkness. Please tell if you know about this sin.

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