State trooper charged with possessing child pornography, resigns

A former Wisconsin State Patrol trooper was charged Tuesday with ten, felony counts of possessing child pornography, after resigning his long-time law enforcement position Friday following his arrest.An initial court appearance in Jefferson County was held for 53-year old Frank Richard Torrez, who appeared via telephone from the Rock County jail.  Officials say Torrez was being held in that jail because of his extensive law enforcement work in Jefferson County.  His case is also being prosecuted by an assistant state attorney general.A criminal complaint states a state department justice agent's undercover, online investigation led to file sharing of child porn associated with unique computer signatures of a device linked to the Cambridge man.  The complaint states Torrez admitted to downloading and viewing child pornography.  The complaint says when an investigator asked Torrez how the old the youngest child he had viewed was, Torrez stated " was young."

The complaint states the agent's discovery of the suspect computer IP address took place Feb. 7, followed by the obtaining of records indicating the computer was assigned to Torrez.  Court records show Torrez was taken into custody Feb. 17 as he finished his law enforcement shift at the state patrol's DeForest headquarters, and a search of one of his computers at his home ensued, with child porn images discovered. When asked by 27 News about the length of time between the agent's discovery of the child pornography and its source, and the law enforcement's officer's arrest, state department of justice spokesperson Johnny Koremenos said a subpoena had to be obtained before any search warrant could be executed.  He said the turn-around time was relatively quick, and said turn-around times in some previously, complex child porn cases formerly took as long as nearly a month.  Koremenos says Wisconsin's recent passage of a law inspired by the experience of a Virginia child kidnap and torture victim allows subpoenas to be granted by the attorney general in these cases to expedite the crime-fighting process.Torrez' career included the receipt of service award in 2015 during a ceremony featuring Governor Walker, acknowledging Torrez' participation in the State Patrol's Honor Guard.Judge William Hue set Torrez's bail at $5,000, noting conviction on any of the ten counts against him would require Torrez to serve a minimum, three year prison sentence.  A Rock County Sheriff's official tells 27 News Torrez posted bail early Tuesday evening and was released.Torrez's home is near a Cambridge school, but authorities allege nothing at this time against Torrez, other than his possession of the child pornography.

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