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Press Release

Hortonville Man Sentenced for Distribution of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on August 17, 2023, Colton H. Nelson (age: 24) of Hortonville, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment for his distribution of child pornography.  Nelson previously pled guilty to the offense on May 3, 2023.

According to court filings, in September of 2022, investigators with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office were conducting an online investigation on a popular peer-to-peer file sharing platform. Investigators observed that an individual, later identified as Colton H. Nelson, was engaged in the receipt and distribution of numerous videos and images containing child sexual abuse material. During execution of a search warrant at Nelson’s residence, law enforcement recovered - over 7,000 videos and images depicting child pornography.

At sentencing, Senior United States District Court Judge William C. Griesbach commented that the serious nature of the offense necessitated a sentence that would both punish Nelson and deter him from engaging in similar conduct in the future.   In addition to the 60-month prison sentence, Nelson will spend five years on supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender. He was also required to pay a $5,000 special assessment.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006, by the U.S. Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case was investigated by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.

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Updated August 17, 2023