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


RHINELANDER - The yellow Historical Society Museum on Pelham Street looks like many houses here in Rhinelander, but step through the doorway and see early 1900's history packed from wall to wall.

The Historical Society Museum will have an open house Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m.

Pieces of Rhinelander's past are preserved inside the house.

Some of those items include a black and white photo of the original hodag, a drum from the old paper mill marching band, and a dining room set made by the Rhinelander Boat Company.

Not only are those items inside the house artifacts, so is the house itself.

"If the walls were empty there would be stories and neat things to see here. You take that, just the neat house and then of course fill it up with all of the items, every room is just a multitude of stories of different items that are in it," said Vice President of the Rhinelander Historical Society Bill Vancos.

+ Read More
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/28/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The Wisconsin high school football level 2 playoffs begin tonight. We will take you live to Green Bay where the Antigo Red Robins will take on Green Bay Notre Dame. We'll give you a preview of that game and tell you the challenge the Robins will face.

Also, on tonight's Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10, we will bring you highlights from that game as well as from Hudson vs. Stevens Point and Marathon vs. Abbotsford.

We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - It took 10 years, but Rhinelander may finally get the spark it needs to build a dog park.

An anonymous woman gave dog park advocate Tina Werres a $10,000 dollar donation recently.  Werres raised about $2,000 -- literally pennies at a time with donation jars -- over the last decade.

But many people didn't want to give a lot of money until a specific location was chosen.  Werres says she still doesn't have a spot approved, but this big donation puts her much closer to actually building a park.

+ Read More
Packers' Abbrederis WaivedSubmitted: 10/27/2016

GREEN BAY - Thursday evening, it was announced that Wisconsin native, Wisconsin Badger alum, and Green Bay Packer Jared Abbrederis has been waived.

According the the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wide receiver Abbrederis was waived on Thursday. He was placed on injured reserve on Monday due to a quad injury ever since the game with the Cowboys. From the article, Abbrederis negotiated an injury settlement and wanted to be waived immediately so it would help him potentially be picked up by another team.

Abbrederis was originally drafted by Green Bay in 2014 in the fifth round. He missed that whole season due to an ACL injury and then a big majority of the 2015 camp with a concussion.

This story will be updated if new information is released.

+ Read More

Play Video

MADISON - A 74-year-old man will no longer face disturbing child pornography charges in Iron County.

Instead, Charles Raimondi is now charged in federal court, which could mean a harsher sentence if he's convicted.

Raimondi is accused having a five-year-old girl pose for sexually explicit pictures over a span of about two years.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOWN OF CRESCENT - Who should pay what to keep a Northwoods lake healthy?  That's -- in part -- the question people around Squash Lake near Rhinelander have debated for months now.

Some want to form a lake district to generate money, but not everyone is on board.  Supporters sent out a petition this summer and got more than 51 percent of landowners to say they support the district.

The organizers say the district fees would pay for DNR divers to clear Eurasian Water Milfoil, which costs around $20,000.  Those fees would cover a grant that's coming to an end.

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - A spinoff in the Ashlee Martinson saga seems to have come to a close.

The man convicted of stealing from the home where Martinson killed her parents will spend a month in jail.

Mark Spietz, 39, of Kaukana, was sentenced in Oneida County Court on Thursday.

Back in August, a jury decided Spietz was guilty on four counts of burglary and theft.

According to the criminal complaint, Spietz took ATVs, bows, a tractor, a trailer and Jennifer Ayers' purse from the home. Spietz claimed he was securing the property for a company based in Arizona.

In court on Thursday, Spietz's wife, siblings and parents all testified to his character and work ethic. They testified Spietz is a good father to a seven-year-old son and two step-sons. They said he also takes care of his parents who have health problems.

Spietz's attorney said he believes his client is still innocent.

"I believe that Mark had he had intended to steal the ATVs he wouldn't have gone through the bother of finding the titles," said Spietz's attorney Brian Bennet. "I believe that a person doesn't commit burglaries in broad daylight with the name on the side of his truck or trailer."

However, the state said it didn't seem Spietz took responsibility for what he did. District Attorney Mike Schiek asked for jail time.

Judge Michael Bloom agreed. He recalled sentencing Ashlee Martinson.

"And I looked at her sitting right where you're sitting now, before I had to look an 18-year-old girl in the face and send her to prison for 23 years, and I told her, you had a choice," Judge Bloom said. "And Mr. Spietz, you as well had a choice."

Spietz will also spend 18 months on probation. He can serve his jail time in any county jail as long as he clears it with the Onieda County Sheriff's Office. He also received Huber privileges and will be allowed to go to work and help his parents during his jail time. 

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here