SAWYER COUNTY  --  Charges for possession of child pornography have been filed against a 57-year-old Hayward, WI man following an investigation by the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) into a cyber tip.

A criminal complaint filed on June 25, 2021, against Edward Precht, age 57, of Hayward, WI, charges Precht with 3 counts of Class D Felony Possession of Child Pornography.

The complaint states that on June 21, 2021, a search warrant was conducted at Precht’s residence as a result of an investigation by DCI Agents and the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office into a cyber tip regarding alleged possession of child pornography.

The Cyber tip indicated that the IP address associated with the download of images that were flagged as possible child pornography belonged to a subscriber by the name of Edward Precht. The service address on the account matched the address of Precht’s residence and the email address associated with the account also was identified as belonging to Precht.

The images that were flagged were a collage of over a dozen images of unclothed prepubescent females in revealing poses and/or being subjected to sexual activity.

While the search warrant was being executed at Precht’s residence, Precht agreed to a law enforcement interview. When asked if he could guess why law enforcement was at his residence, Precht allegedly said, “yeah about the porn stuff”, according to the criminal complaint. After being told that he did not have to speak to law enforcement, Precht said that he was ok talking about it and that it was a relief talking about it.

During the law enforcement interview Precht allegedly stated that images of child pornography would likely be found on three different electronic devices in his possession. He said that he finds child pornography on the internet by putting in certain search terms and that he has been looking at child pornography for about a year.

Precht allegedly went on to state that he usually looks at images of girls aged 10 years to 20 years and that if any results pop up with images of girls younger than 10 years of age, he generally won’t click on those. Precht also said that he knew this was coming and that it was wrong from the start, but that loneliness drove him to do it. Precht denied ever sexually touching a child or making any images or videos of child pornography, stating that no kids have ever been to his house.

The criminal complaint states that during the execution of the search warrant, 2 cell phones, and a tablet device were seized as evidence. When searching those devices, agents located 3 images of child pornography showing prepubescent females. The devices will be fully examined by the DCI Crime Lab.

Precht was taken into custody and transported to the Sawyer County Jail. Online Circuit Court records show that at a court hearing on June 23, 2021, the Court placed Precht on a $5,000 cash bond.

Conditions of bond prohibit Precht from possessing any devices that can access the internet and he is also prohibited from having any contact with minor children.

Precht appeared most recently on July 8, 2021, and waived his right to a preliminary examination hearing.

He is scheduled to appear again in July 2021.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


Share This Article