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Milwaukee-area man faces federal sex crime charges

A man who recently pleaded guilty to a state charge of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime is also facing federal charges involving underage pornography. He entered the guilty plea as part of an agreement with the district attorney's office and remains in police custody.

The federal charges against him include three counts of transportation of underage pornography, one count of possession of underage pornography and one count of accessing a protected computer. He's pleaded not guilty to all of them.

The man was indicted on the federal charges in December. A statement from the U.S. attorney's office alleges that he shared underage pornography images and video over the Internet through a peer-to-peer file sharing program on his home computers with undercover FBI agents in California, Illinois and Missouri on three different occasions last spring.

The charges of transportation of underage pornography carry a five-year prison sentence for each count, not to exceed 20 years. The other counts carry maximum sentences of five years in prison.

The state charges were filed after police said he tried to meet up with an undercover detective posing as a 15-year-old boy. The criminal complaint against him says he chatted with the detective for several hours on the computer and over the phone before attempting to meet him at a local high school. Milwaukee police said they set up the sting after finding the man's Craigslist post searching for a "son, no age limits."

While the details of the plea agreement for the state charge aren't available, the guilty plea could have an effect on the federal case against the defendant. Although the cases are technically separate, a federal juror's knowledge of the state charge could be extremely damaging. It's likely that the man's attorney will make every effort to prevent the cases from interfering with one another to avoid prejudice.

Source: Shorewood Patch, "Shorewood Man Pleads Guilty to State Charge in Child Porn Case," Adam W. McCoy, March 15, 2012

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