DOJ admits negligence in another child porn case

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by John Cuoco

MILWAUKEE -- The Wisconsin Department of Justice said Wednesday they were negligent in failing to investigate another child porn case.

 
The DOJ waited a little more than a year before arresting Samuel Hawkins at his home in Racine last month for possessing of child porn and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy he baby sat.
 
A special agent located his IP address as someone who was viewing or distributing child porn in December of 2012, the case was assigned in February of  2013, but it wasn't until a year later a search warrant was acted on.
 
The DOJ said "our ongoing review of cases indicates it wasn’t acted upon as promptly as it should’ve been."
 
The Hawkins case comes on the heels of two other cases, Robert Turk and Christopher Kosakowski.
 
"The circumstances related to the Turk and Kosakoski cases and this case (Hawkins) are unique and reflect some level of staff negligence," DOJ spokesperson Dana Brueck said. "Attorney General Van Hollen is gravely disappointed in these failures.  Since becoming aware of these issues, he immediately ordered a review and took action.  Disappointing performance is not acceptable."
 
Waukesha County District Attorney and Attorney general Candidate Brad Schimel said in a statement “The emergence of a new case in Racine demonstrates the need for my plan to reform the ICAC operations is needed, and the plan I’ve outlined will ensure that tips on child pornography will be handled in a timely and effective manner.”
 
His plan is as followed:
 
1.)           Reallocate resources to investigate child exploitation cases.  Law enforcement assets have not kept pace with the changes in technology that have given predators greater access to our kids.
 
2.)           Improve tracking systems to bring greater accountability and encourage transparent immediate responses to case handling.
 
3.)           Ensure cases in which children are at risk are prioritized and acted on immediately. Institute safety measures to protect children and ensure evidence against the perpetrator does not become stale over time. 
 
4.)           Improve training for all ICAC affiliates to ensure all have the highest possible ability and expertise to perform these sensitive and complicated investigations.
 
The DOJ said that two special agents have been reassigned as a result of their review and further disciplinary action may follow.
 
"Aggressive efforts are underway to address identified cases that may have been impacted by a lack of attention to duty.  DCI’s internal review of cases remains ongoing," Brueck said.
CBS 58 asked for an on-camera interview with the DOJ, but that request was denied.
 

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