Reedsburg man gets probation for possessing child porn

January 5, 2019

A Reedsburg man will spend five years on probation and become a registered sex offender for possessing child pornography, a judge ruled Friday.

“I wasn’t actively seeking child pornography,” 22-year-old Trenton J. Labansky said during his sentencing hearing, disputing an allegation that he attempted to minimize his own culpability.

He said that in March 2016 he was using an online Dropbox account — which allowed other people to share files with him — in search of non-illegal images. He wound up receiving a large amount of files that prosecutors determined to be child porn.

Although he deleted much of the illegal material, prosecutors said Labansky kept some of it. They initially charged him with seven counts of felony child pornography possession, but ultimately agreed to dismiss six of those counts.

In a statement to the judge Friday, Labansky said he understood that the crime for which he was convicted was “extremely wrong and gross, and I am genuinely sorry for my actions.”

The conviction carries a maximum possible penalty of up to 25 years in prison, and requires a prison sentence of at least three years.

However, the law allows judges to make an exception if there is less than a four-year age difference between the defendant and the person depicted in the pornography. Labansky was 19 years old at the time of the offense.

Given Labansky’s lack of a prior criminal history and any apparent tendency to act out toward others, Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock said he was satisfied that probation without a period of incarceration would protect the public.

He said he shared the concerns expressed by Labansky’s attorney that prison was not the best way to reform the defendant.

Labansky will have to abide by certain conditions during his probation, including contact restrictions with minors, as well as restrictions on access to electronic devices and the internet. He must undergo sex offender and mental health assessments and follow through with any recommended treatment.

After his probationary period is complete, Labansky must remain on the state’s sex offender registry for 15 years. If he does not successfully complete probation, he could wind up back in court facing up to 25 years in prison.

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