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Lake Hallie man sentenced to 4 years for child porn

Lake Hallie man sentenced to 4 years for child porn

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A Lake Hallie man accused of possessing multiple images of child pornography was sentenced Tuesday to serve four years in prison.

Raymond L. Crowell, 37, 13648 43rd Ave., pleaded no contest in April in Chippewa County Court to one count of possessing child pornography. Crowell had originally been charged with 10 counts; the other nine were read-in and dismissed.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities performed a search warrant of his home April 17, 2019, because of a tip that Crowell had “uploaded numerous child pornography images.” The images showed prepubescent children having sex with adults. When confronted by authorities, Crowell admitted to searching for and viewing the images.

Judge James Isaacson also ordered Crowell be placed on extended supervision for six years upon release from prison. Isaacson said his sentence is also meant as a deterrent to others, noting that the criminal complaint states some of the victims are described as “toddlers,” who are shown on-screen interacting with naked, adult males.

“It boggles the mind,” Isaacson said. “It makes you wonder about the kids, and what is going on with them. You have a 6-year-old daughter at home.”

The Department of Corrections recommended a five-year prison sentence along with three years of extended supervision.

Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell said Crowell was using meth at the time he was looking at the child pornography. Crowell initially denied downloading images of child pornography, but later admitted he searched for images of girls as young as 10 years old.

“These were clearly children displayed in these images,” Newell said.

Newell said he was seeking the five-year prison sentence recommended by the Department of Corrections, instead of the three-year minimum.

“It’s his unwillingness to concede his wrongdoing in this matter,” Newell said.

The fact Crowell was using meth at the time also is a factor in the length of the sentence request, Newell said.

“That is very troubling to myself,” Newell said. “The use of methamphetamine can make people engage in risky behavior they otherwise would not get involved in.”

Defense attorney David Field noted that Crowell has some drug and alcohol arrests in the past, but no sex crimes. Crowell also has five children, all under the age of 10.

“Without methamphetamine, we wouldn’t be here with him facing these charges,” Field said. “I don’t think he’ll be a further threat to the community when he gets out.”

Field also questioned the three-year minimum established by the Legislature. He said the facts in this case don’t warrant going to a five-year prison sentence.

Prior to sentencing, Crowell apologized for his behavior and pleaded for leniency, saying “I’m not that kind of person. This will never happen again, ever.”

“It’s a horrific thing that happened here,” Crowell said. “I wish it never happened to anybody, and wish it hadn’t wound up on computers for people to come across and find. I just plead with the court to not take me away from my kids that long. Being clean and sober since the day I was arrested have opened my eyes to a lot of things, and I’ve just tried to be a better person.”

Crowell, who had been free on a signature bond, was taken into custody immediately at the conclusion of the hearing Tuesday.

Since he was arrested in April 2019, Crowell was barred from accessing the Internet or having any unsupervised contact with juveniles. He was given credit for two days in jail already served. He also must pay $1,018 in court costs.

Crowell was convicted of battery to an officer and OWI-second offense in 2009. Isaacson also indicated Crowell has a more extensive criminal record while he was living in Michigan.

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