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Child pornography charges spark firing of Lutheran official

We have previously written that sex crime charges can be damaging to a defendant's future, regardless of a conviction. A defendant may lose his reputation, community standing and even his job.

Earlier this month, a 52-year-old Wisconsin man was charged with three counts of possession of child pornography at an arraignment in Waukesha County Circuit Court. Just one day after he faced charges, he was fired from his job as the communications director for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS).

Investigators allegedly found a thumb drive at his office containing 310 photographs and 38 videos of child pornography. According to the complaint, several hundred images were also discovered on his home computer.

The defendant told investigators that he had previously sought counseling after his wife caught him "viewing pornographic photos and videos of young boys in sexually explicit poses." He also admitted to "struggling with an addiction" to such material.

If convicted, the man could face decades in prison followed by extended supervision upon release. But the charges alone have already cost him his job.

In a released statement, the Synod president said: "WELS holds its employees to high ethical and moral standards; we will not and cannot tolerate behavior that goes against these principals."

Anyone charged with possession of child pornography or another sex crime is in danger of losing their good reputation, their job and their very freedom. Therefore, it is important to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can provide strong legal advocacy and make sure defendants understand their rights and options.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lutheran official fired over porn charge," Annysa Johnson, Nov. 18, 2011

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