MOUNT PLEASANT — A 43-year-old man admitted to a police officer that “he has a problem” while being questioned after child pornography was allegedly found on his phone, according to a criminal complaint filed in Racine County Circuit Court Tuesday.
The man, William Edward Smith of the 1500 block of Pratt Avenue, has been charged with 10 felonies: attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age; capturing an intimate representation without consent; invasion of privacy using a surveillance device and seven counts of possession of child pornography.
After his arrest for an alleged attempted sexual assault, police found the images on Smith’s phone.
Combined, the charges carry a total possible sentence of 202 years’ incarceration. According to online records, Smith’s cash bail has been set at $100,000.
According to the criminal complaint:
A Mount Pleasant police officer reported that when Smith was confronted regarding screenshots that appeared to contain child pornography allegedly found on his phone, “he started crying.” He then allegedly admitted he didn’t know how many of the 24,000-plus photos on his phone included child pornography.
Police said that Smith admitted to having used his cell phone to take videos of a teenage girl in a shower without her knowledge.
The seven photos for which Smith now faces charges are all dated within the last three months, the complaint states.
Smith reportedly “admitted he has a problem” to law enforcement. The officer reported that Smith said “one minute he thinks it’s the most disgusting thing in the world, and the next minute he can’t stop.”
Smith reportedly went on to say that he didn’t think it (taking the photos) was hurting anyone because they were pictures and no one knew.
Smith is not listed on the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry.
Online court records show that Smith was convicted of operating while under the influence as a second offense in 2007 and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in 2016 for carrying a handgun into a place where alcohol is sold/consumed.
Smith made an initial appearance in court Tuesday via video conference, according to online records, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 4 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave.