Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

UPDATE: Case against teacher facing child porn charges moves forwardSubmitted: 03/26/2014
Story By Adam Fox

WAUSAU - UPDATE: March 26,2014 - 8:25 p.m.

The case of a Wausau teacher and coach accused of keeping child pornography will move forward.

Michael Switalski, 50, faces eight charges of keeping child pornography.

That includes nearly 100 pictures and a dozen DVDs.

He's on leave as a teacher and boys soccer coach at Newman Catholic High School in Wausau.

Switalski waived his preliminary hearing in court Wednesday.

He will be back in court later this month.

Switalski could spend at least 24 years in prison if convicted on all of his charges.

----------------------------------

A Wausau area teacher faces eight charges for possessing child pornography, after police used a warrant to search his house on Friday.

Michael M. Switalski,50 , made his initial appearance in Marathon County court Monday. He is a teacher and boys soccer coach at Newman Catholic High School in Wausau, and has lived in the city for more than 20 years.

According to the criminal complaint, special agents of the Department of Justice, as well as officers from the Wausau Police Department, used a search warrant at Switalski's home at 926 Parcher St. in Wausau.



Police found USB storage devices, a hard drive from a laptop, more than a dozen DVDs and documents. Police say The thumb-drive had 95 images of nude males, many of whom appear to be under the age of 18.

None of the pictures or DVD's have any connection to students at Newman Catholic.

Police say the DVDs were connected to a Toronto based film company that had been busted for producing and shipping nude films of minors to customers worldwide. Azov Films was raided by police in May of 2011.

Based on business records, Azov Films had been shipping videos to customers in the U.S. through USPS Priority Mail.

Many of the DVD's in Switalski's home appeared to be produced by Azov Films. Boys in the videos ranged in age of approximately 10 to 16 years old, according to the criminal complaint.

The severity of the content seized was one of the reasons Judge Jill Falstad did not lower Switalski's bond, or allow a signature bond. Switalski will need to post $75,000 to post bond.

Switalski had been teaching at Newman Catholic high school, as well as coaching the schools boys soccer team.

Theresa Wetzsteon, Marathon County deputy district attorney, says Switalski has contributed to the community in his time at the school. She believes many people will come to Switalski's defense.

"I just want the public understand that this isn't something we take lightly," Wetzsteon said."We understand that he is a very important member of this community, but these charges are very serious and it is very important that the public have accurate information and that they stay informed."

Newman Catholic Schools released a statement Monday afternoon saying they were "shocked and saddened by the recent arrest of Michael Switalski for suspected possession of child pornography."

Following protocol, the school has placed Switalski on administrative leave.

"He will remain on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigations by both the Department of Justice and NCS," according to the press release.

Each charge of child pornography carries a 25-year maximum prison sentence. Each count also carries a minimum three-year prison sentence for each charge, meaning Switalski faces at least 24 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Police are still investigating and could bring more charges forward.

Switalski for his preliminary hearing on March 26th.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Every girl dreams of the perfect prom dress. But, no matter how dreamy the dress, most girls only wear it once. Rhinelander High School's FBLA/DECA decided to try and get more use out of their dresses.
 
"Everyone doesn't have a lot of money to spend on prom dresses," said FBLA/DECA Co-President Haley Sisel.

+ Read More

NEW ORLEANS - 8:30 p.m.

New Orleans police say the number of people injured after a vehicle crashed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans has increased to 28 and a suspect is in custody.

Police Chief Michael Harrison says one person in custody and that he is being investigated for driving while intoxicated. Harrison says police do not suspect terrorism.

Harrison says that 21 people were hospitalized after the crash with five victims in guarded condition. Seven others declined to be hospitalized.

+ Read More

MADISON - State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz sent a campaign-focused email detailing his support among Republicans using his Whitnall Public School email address during a school day.

The email sent in May appears to be in violation of the state law prohibiting the use of government resources for campaign work.

The email was provided to The Associated Press by the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now which received it through an open records request.

Holtz did not respond to a request for comment.

Former chief state elections administrator Kevin Kennedy says the email does break the law, but it's not likely to rise to the level of something warranting prosecution. Kennedy says it shows more of a lack of judgment than criminal act.

+ Read More

OCONOMOWOC - A Wisconsin couple is charged with child neglect and suffocation after police say they gagged and "hog-tied" a 12-year-old boy with duct tape while they went out to dinner in December.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the victim's mother and stepfather, of Oconomowoc, each face misdemeanor counts of child neglect and felony counts of suffocation as parties to the crime. The woman faces an additional charge.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - The Oneida County woman accused of mistreating animals in her rescue won't go to court next week.

The Oneida County District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday morning that Stephanie Schneider's court appearance Monday has been pushed back.

Police seized 39 dogs from her "It Matters to One" animal rescue in Sugar Camp earlier this month.

+ Read More

MERRILL - A school bus crashed after hitting a plow truck Friday morning.  It happened on U.S. Highway 51 near the County Highway K exit near Merrill around 11 a.m.

The State Patrol says the bus tried to pass a plow truck when it hit the plow. A Lincoln County Deputy on scene said the bus hit the plow's wing .  There were children on the bus at the time.  One child was treated for a minor injury, but troopers say everyone will be OK.

The children boarded a second bus to continue on their way.  The wrecked bus needed to be towed from the scene. The bus was labeled as a Lamers school bus. Newswatch 12 reached out to the Green Bay-based company for comment and further info, but the message was not returned.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Police departments often seize drugs, cash, and vehicles involved in crimes. Tomahawk uses up to $10,000 a year from those to fight crime. But a new bill could take that money away.

"You're handcuffing your police officers," said Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here