Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

UPDATE: Case against teacher facing child porn charges moves forwardSubmitted: 03/26/2014
UPDATE: Case against teacher facing child porn charges moves forward
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

MERRILL - Many of us know that exciting feeling when you knock down all the bowling pins and make a strike.

One bowling alley in Merrill is trying to take the excitement up a notch with a new scoring system.

Chances are you've never seen a scoring system like the one at Les & Jim's Lincoln Lanes in Merrill.

Owner Mark Bares decided to install the "SYNC" system at his bowling alley with the help of his seven kids.

"My kids liked how easy and simple this system is. Plus they liked the angry birds," says Bares.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - People at Rhinelander's City Hall know if you need to know a specific ordinance or resolution, you could always turn to Kathy Johnson.  That's going to change this week.  The city administrator's assistant retires at the end of the day Friday.

Johnson started working for the city five years ago.  She and her husband moved here from Rockford, Illinois.  Johnson served under four city administrators over that time, including Blaine Oborn, Phil Parkinson, Kristina Aschenbrenner, and Keith Kost.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You'll need to look in a different place to find the Hodag Farmers' Market when it opens for the season this weekend.  But the market's move is all of about 25 yards.

The market shifted to the space where the ice rink used to be at Pioneer Park.  Vendors used to set up along the park's driveway.

Market manager Steve Richardson wanted to make the move for the last few years, then got his chance when the city tore the old rink down in 2016.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander woman will face another day in court. Ellen Tran is charged with Second Degree Reckless Homicide.
 
Her step- son Avery Edwards died after Tran gave him a shower back in April. 

People from the Tri-County Council and Bikers Against Child Abuse were in the court room on Thursday, wearing pins and buttons to support Edwards. 

The defense tried to argue that the state didn't have enough evidence to prove probable cause to charge Tran in her stepson's death. 

Edwards was 20 months old when his stepmother, Tran, was giving him a shower on April 14.

In the criminal complaint Tran said during the shower Edwards fell, but Tran said she could not remember how he fell or what he hit. 

The Fond du Lac medical examiner later found that Edwards' death was caused by blunt force trauma.

 Tran's attorney Amy Scholtz argued there wasn't evidence that Tran caused the injury that led to Edward's death. 

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Choosing a career path after high school can seem challenging.

However, students who want to be in the medical field were able to see what will take to follow this dream.

The Aspirus MedEvac helicopter landed on Wausau East High School's football field while students watched on Thursday.

Pilot Captain Ken Cerney says even though he isn't
Choosing a career path after high school can seem challenging.

However, students who want to be in the medical field were able to see what will take to follow this dream.

The Aspirus MedEvac helicopter landed on Wausau East High School's football field while students watched on Thursday.

Pilot Captain Ken Cerney says even though he isn't directly involved with the medical field, he has some advice for all students.

+ Read More

Play Video

WOODRUFF - The frontline against Aquatic Invasive Species starts at boat landings across the Northwoods. But understanding what you're fighting starts in Northwoods Schools.

That's why Arbor-Vitae Woodruff Elementary School teachers are teaching their students about AIS.

More than 50 fourth grade students have been learning about invasive species, participating in field work, and going on field trips through The Great Lakes Expedition. It's all part of the school's curriculum to teach fourth grade students about Wisconsin's history and geography.

+ Read More

CHETEK, WI - Sheriff's officials in northwestern Wisconsin have identified the teens involved in a fatal plane crash.

The Barron County Sheriff's Department says 17-year-old Owen Knutson died when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed into a river in a rural area near Chetek Wednesday evening. An 18-year-old passenger, Hunter Gillett, was seriously injured. Chetek-Weyerhaeuser High School senior is hospitalized at Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here