Lutheran official charged with three counts of child porn possession

The WTMJ News Team

Lutheran official charged with three counts of child porn possession

CREATED Nov. 16, 2011 - UPDATED: Nov. 17, 2011

WAUKESHA - 52-year-old Joel Hochmuth, the Director of Communications for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, has been charged with three counts of possessing child porn.

According to a criminal complaint, FBI agents found at least 310 pictures and at least 38 videos of child pornography located on Hochmuth's computer and thumb drives.

Also, authorities report at one point, the Hochmuth's wife caught him viewing these images, and they had gone to counseling as a result.

The Waukesha County District Attorney's office was working Thursday to draft a criminal complaint with child pornography charges against a high-ranking official with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Waukesha Police detectives report they found several images of child pornography inside Joel Hochmuth's home. Authorities say he may have been distributing child pornography as well.

He was to face a judge in a Waukesha County courtroom on Thursday afternoon.

Police took Hochmuth, 52, into custody at the Waukesha County Jail.  He is the Director of Communications for WELS.

Hochmuth was arrested at his home in Waukesha on Wednesday evening.

According to a Waukesha Police Sergeant, the FBI cyber crime task force discovered someone at Hochmuth's home downloading child porn.

That sergeant told TODAY'S TMJ4 a significant number of child porn images were found in Hochmuth's home and investigators are discovering more Wednesday night, as they go through additional hard drives.

TODAY'S TMJ4's Steve Chamraz also spoke with the president of the WELS church.

He told TODAY'S TMJ4 on the phone, that "this is not in keeping with the Joel Hochmuth he knows. And he is praying it is all some kind of misunderstanding."

 

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