Police: Victims identified in Marathon, Dane counties
By Brandi Makuski
A Stevens Point man is facing a possible 325-year sentence on multiple counts of possession of child pornography and child sexual exploitation.
Stephen Montgomery, 32, is free on a $2,000 cash bond after being arrested last February on five counts of child sexual exploitation and five counts of possession of child pornography.
According to the criminal complaint, Stevens Point police were notified by a Marathon Co. lieutenant in June, 2014 with information that Montgomery had “suspicious and inappropriate contact” with the daughter of a Marathon Co. deputy by sending her nude photographs of girls under the age of 16.
Montgomery had also tried to obtain nude photographs of the deputy’s daughters, according to the complaint. The age of the deputy’s daughter was not listed in the complaint, nor was it immediately clear how she initially met Montgomery.
The deputy, who was not named in the complaint, and his wife came across the photographs, as well as sexually-charged conversations, after checking their daughter’s cell phone. According to the complaint, Montgomery had been sending nude photos of girls to the deputy’s daughter for over a year.
During their conversations, Montgomery told the girl he personally took the nude photos of at least one of the children, who he claimed was 12 years old.
Stevens Point police later obtained a warrant to search Montgomery’s home on the 1400 block of Division St. where they found “numerous” flash drives, cameras, computers and cell phones.
The devices contained thousands of pornographic images involving children, according to the complaint, with 72 pictures identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as being known victims of child pornography.
One of the cell phones seized also contained another conversation from 2013 where Montgomery shared 14 child pornography images with another woman.
A detective working on the case locally was also contacted by a Madison police officer, who said she received a crime stoppers news tip that Montgomery had attempted to “entice parents to have their children photographed” free of charge. According to that officer, Montgomery admitted having a sexual attraction to children.
Montgomery also shared sexually explicit photographs of children as young as 13 with a woman in the Madison area, according to the complaint.
Montgomery’s charges are designated as “serious sex offenses” by state law, according to Portage Co. District Attorney Louis Molepske, which would be reflected during sentencing if Montgomery is convicted.
“The state can request lifetime supervision upon his sentence,” Molepske said via email. “The offense of sexual exploitation of a child requires a minimum in-prison sentence of five years [if convicted] and the possession of child pornography requires a minimum of three years of initial in-prison confinement.”
Each count of child sexual exploitation carries a maximum 40-year sentence. Possession of child pornography carries a maximum of 25 years for each count.
As a condition of his bond, Montgomery is prohibited from having any contact with the alleged victims or their residences, or from having any unsupervised contact with minors.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges in March and returns to court for his pre-trial conference at 11 AM on Jan. 17.