SHELL LAKE, WI -- The Court has sentenced a man on convictions for possession of child pornography in Washburn County.

DrydenWire reported in January 2021, that Justin Schutz, of Spooner, WI, was facing criminal charges for possession of child pornography following an investigation by the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

The United States Department of Homeland Security received a referral from an investigation team based in Essex, England which was investigating the distribution of indecent images of children. An individual was arrested as a result of that investigation and authorities discovered that this individual had exchanged hundreds of emails with over a hundred people. One of the email addresses from that investigation was ultimately identified as belonging to Justin L. Schutz, with an address in Shell Lake, WI. The investigation revealed that multiple images of child pornography had been exchanged via that email address.

Investigators were advised by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections that Schutz had a residence in Spooner, WI and that he was a registered sex offender with a conviction for exposing genitals to a child. A search warrant was executed at Schutz’s Spooner residence, and when investigators interviewed Schutz he stated that he had viewed child pornography the night before. Graphic images of nude prepubescent children were discovered on Schutz’s phone.

A criminal complaint was filed in January 2021 charging Schutz with 7 counts of Class D Felony Possession of Child Pornography in Washburn County. Schutz appeared most recently on August 6, 2021, for a sentencing hearing. The Court ordered a 12-year sentence for Schutz on conviction for 2 counts of Class D Felony Possession of Child Pornography. The remaining counts were dismissed but read in at a plea hearing in May 2021.

The Court ordered Schutz to serve concurrent sentences of 6 years of initial confinement in state prison followed by 6 years of extended supervision on each count. He will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

Online records show that Schutz is scheduled to appear in September 2021 for a motion hearing regarding an 8 year Deferred Judgement of Conviction agreement on a charge of Class B Felony Repeated Sexual Assault of Same Child (At Least 3 Violations of 1st Degree Sexual Assault) in a case that was filed against him in Washburn County in 2013.

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.


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