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Child pornography case against Rhinelander man involving 700+ images moves forwardSubmitted: 02/16/2018
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Child pornography case against Rhinelander man involving 700+ images moves forward
RHINELANDER - Police think an Oneida County man downloaded hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls using a private chatroom.

During Danial Smith's preliminary hearing Friday, Smith's attorney asked if police had any way of knowing it was his client who downloaded the more than 700 photos.

The state Department of Justice learned a computer near Rhinelander downloaded the pictures in late 2016 thanks to a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  The internet protocol (IP) addresses from the downloads were linked to Smith's home on County C in the town of Stella.


Detectives went to the home with a search warrant. Smith, 44, first told detectives he had no idea why they were at his home, then later said the images "just popped up" while he was shopping for children's clothing. During a conversation with detectives later that day in a squad car, Smith told police he used the site "Chatstep" to access images.

"The images were of prepubescent, mainly females, showing their genitalia, showing they were naked," Oneida County Detective Sergeant Chad Wanta testified in court Friday.

Police confiscated several computer towers and Smith's cell phone for evidence.

Smith's attorney Brian Bennett asked if the detective could tell if the pictures had been "Photoshopped" to look like children. Detective Wanta said they all appeared to be real pictures of child pornography.

"Most of them were, the poses were sexually explicit, as if they were told or coach on how to pose for the image," Wanta said.

Judge Patrick O'Melia found enough evidence to move the case forward. O'Melia set an arraignment forMarch 12, during which Smith will enter a pela.

Smith faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted. He's currently free on a signature bond.

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