Eau Claire Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Possessing Child Pornography
Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Preston C. Laska, 24, formerly of Eau Claire, Wis., was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to 10 years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release, for possession of child pornography. Laska pleaded guilty to this charge on November 27, 2012.
Authorities were alerted by a roommate that Laska may have child pornography on his laptop computer. On June 21, 2011, search warrants were executed at Laska's residence and computers were seized for analysis, ultimately revealing thousands of pictures and videos of children engaged in sexual conduct.
On November 4, 2011, Laska was reported missing by a family member. A grand jury returned an indictment for possession of child pornography and a warrant was issued for Laska's arrest on April 14, 2012. On July 12, 2012, police officers in New York City arrested Laska for sleeping in a park. Laska provided a false identity and was released, but later re-apprehended when his fingerprints were entered into a database that showed the active warrant for Laska.
Laska was found to have another laptop computer with him. Laska said that he had left Wisconsin because of the child pornography investigation and had joined the "Occupy" movement in both California and New York. Laska admitted that he had downloaded more child pornography from wireless hot spots in California and New York, and an additional search warrant on his laptop confirmed this. Laska was returned to Wisconsin to face the federal charges. Laska had been previously convicted for state charges of possession of child pornography.
The charges against Laska were the result of an investigation conducted by the Eau Claire Police Department. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Burke.
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