Sex Offender, Former WELS Official Gets Prison After Following Boys Cross Country Team
Joel Hochmuth, 52, of Waukesha, will spend four years in prison on his child pornography possession conviction.
The former Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) communication director — who was fired from his position upon his arrest for child pornography possession — will spend four years in prison after he followed a boys cross country team on multiple occasions.
Joel W. Hochmuth also was sentenced Wednesday to five years of extended supervision after his probation was revoked on his child porn possession conviction.
In addition to the “stalking conduct,” according to a hearing report, Hochmuth’s probation was revoked for the following reasons:
- Masturbating while naked in the woods near his workplace in Colgate and inside his workplace
- Having access to the Internet via his cell phone and failing to provide that information to his probation agent.
- Deviating from his approved schedule at the work-release jail
- Leaving his approved work site without permission
- Having “drive by” contact with minors
Hochmuth was sentenced in June to 10 years of probation by Judge Kathryn Foster on the child pornography conviction.
Hochmuth was charged in November 2011 after detectives from the Waukesha Police Department met with a special agent from the FBI, who told detectives that Hochmuth was using the Internet handle “Skiguy10101” and had child pornography on his computer depicting “pre-pubescent and adolescent boys engaged in various sexual acts,” according to a criminal complaint.
Hochmuth told authorities that the number of images found on his computer in Waukesha “was nothing compared to what they would find in his office,” the complaint states. Hochmuth denied downloading pornographic images on his work computer but police located three thumb drives at the WELS office in Wauwatosa, 2929 N Mayfair Rd., that had nine images and videos of young boys engaged in sexual acts, the complaint states. Authorities believe boys shown in the graphic pictures ranged from 10 to 14 years old.
Hochmuth was terminated from his position when the allegations came to light.
“The evil side of Joel Hochmuth won,” Foster said while handing down the prison sentence.
Hochmuth’s attorney, Paul Bucher, said he and Hochmuth are embarrassed by Hochmuth’s actions. Calling Wednesday’s hearing “one of the worst times a defense attorney can have,” Bucher gave a lengthy apology while asking for extensive in-patient treatment.
Following a boys cross country team “was pretty stupid,” Bucher said.
“You took a heck of a risk on Mr. Hochmuth,” Bucher said. “I knew that ... and he knew that. I told him that."
Hochmuth also apologized in court, saying he understands why the Department of Corrections and society aren’t satisfied with his “progress in fighting these demons.
“It is not pleasant to have my dirty laundry … hung out for the whole world to see,” Hochmuth said. “I am also angry. I am angry at myself for squandering the opportunity that you gave me.”