A Bangor man was in court Thursday after he was accused of sharing child pornography over a messaging app.
Michael D. Capwell, 30, was charged in La Crosse County Circuit Court with three counts of possession of child pornography. If convicted, he will face a mandatory minimum of three years in prison for each charge and a surcharge of $500 per image.
According to the complaint, local authorities received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children May 27 that an email address associated with Capwell had uploaded 12 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of minors April 11 to the messaging app called Kik. Authorities were able to identify Capwell as the owner of the account via subpoenas to Google, Yahoo, Verizon and Charter.
Police found three videos of pre-pubescent girls among the images, according to the complaint.
Police arrested Capwell Wednesday and searched his home.
According to the complaint, Capwell told police he didn’t remember uploading anything to Kik, but saw others sharing child pornography and stopped using the app.
Assistant district attorney Susan Donskey asked for a $2,500 cash bond, arguing that the risk for Capwell to not appear was heightened by the seriousness of the charges; however, public defender Meredith Davis pointed out that Capwell has no criminal history and no failures to appear in court.
Capwell was released from La Crosse County Jail Thursday on a $2,500 signature bond ordered by Court Commissioner Patricia Heim. Heim prohibited Capwell to have any contact with children under 18 and possess any devices that access the internet while on bond.
Jourdan Vian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.
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