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Press Release

Oconto County Man Sentenced to Over 20 years in Federal Prison for Producing 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 June 9, 2023, Rocky R. Sonkowsky (age: 33) of Oconto County, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 260 months in federal prison by Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach.

According to court records, in Summer 2021, while babysitting his girlfriend’s infant child and changing the child’s diaper, Sonkowsky sexually assaulted the child and captured 21 images of the abuse on his smartphone. The images were discovered when police began investigating Sonkowsky for his online activities, which included downloading child pornography and engaging in online communications with underage children.

When sentencing Sonkowsky, Judge Griesbach noted the horrendous nature of the crime and the horrific abuse of trust inherent in Sonkowsky’s criminal acts. Judge Griesbach found a strong need to protect the public from Sonkowsky, a self-described pedophile. Ultimately, Judge Griesbach determined that 260 months in federal prison was a fair and just sentence. Upon the completion of his federal prison sentence, Sonkowsky will spend the remainder of his life on supervised release. He will also have to register as a sex offender under state and federal law.

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 Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, the Oconto County Sheriff’s Office, and the City of Oconto Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.

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Updated June 12, 2023