Patch: Accused of violating probation, Hochmuth sentenced to prison
WAUKESHA (WITI) — Joel Hochmuth, the man who served as communication director for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) is accused of violating his probation, and according to the Waukesha Patch, will spend four years in prison after he followed a boys cross-country team on multiple occasions.
Hochmuth pleaded guilty earlier this year to possession of child pornography. In exchange for the guilty plea, the state dropped two of the three counts against him.
Hochmuth was sentenced Wednesday to five years of extended supervision after his probation was revoked on his child porn possession conviction.
According to the Waukesha Patch, in addition to the “stalking conduct,” according to a hearing report, Hochmuth’s probation was revoked for the following reasons:
- Masturbating while naked in the woods near his workplace in Colgate and inside his workplace
- Having access to the Internet via his cell phone and failing to provide that information to his probation agent.
- Deviating from his approved schedule at the work-release jail
- Leaving his approved work site without permission
- Having “drive by” contact with minors
Hochmuth was charged after a sting operation by the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Task Force found child porn images and videos on Hochmuth’s personal and work computers, as well as thumb drives.
Hochmuth was arrested at his home in Waukesha.
According to the criminal complaint in the case, an undercover FBI agent used peer-to-peer software which allowed him to connect with Hochmuth’s computer and browse for files, and says Hochmuth was sharing child porn. The agent says he also chatted with Hochmuth online, and Hochmuth allegedly told him he likes pictures of males 10 years of age or older.
The criminal complaint states that during his arrest, Hochmuth stated he has been struggling with an addiction to viewing pornographic photos and videos of young boys in sexually explicit poses, but denies ever creating his own pornography. The complaint also says Hochmuth’s wife caught him looking at the images once, and says they went to counseling as a result.
Officials removed a desktop computer and a laptop computer from Hochmuth’s home, and the criminal complaint states Hochmuth said what would be found on his home computer was nothing compared to what they would find in his office. A search warrant was executed at Hochmuth’s office, and FBI agents found a thumb drive, containing 310 child porn images, and 38 videos. Agents say there were several hundred images found on Hochmuth’s home computer.
Hochmuth was terminated from his position with WELS when the allegations came to light.
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