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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Joel W. Hochmuth also was sentenced Wednesday to five years of extended supervision after his probation was revoked on his child porn possession conviction.

In addition to the “stalking conduct,” according to a hearing report, Hochmuth’s probation was revoked for the following reasons: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.”

Sarah Millard January 24, 2013 at 03:35 PM
I deleted a few comments for swearing. Please refrain from violating the terms of service on Patch. -Sarah
syversol January 24, 2013 at 04:29 PM
This man has been found to be a pedophile, not gay or homosexual. It is important to use the correct terminology.
James R. Benz January 25, 2013 at 09:13 PM
I would think he would be a candidate for chemical castoration. Very troubling story.
George Williams January 25, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Oooooooo....yet another harsh sentence by a Waukesha Co. judge. Why would Judge Foster sentence this pervert to probation in the first place? "The evil side of Joel Hochmuth won," she says. Brilliant, showing so much faith in the goodness of humanity. Judge Foster was so hoping the goodness of Hocmuth would prevail. Where is the concern for the child victims that were in these images? The answer is...there is none. I'll bet that the phrase "but he didn't actually assault anyone," was uttered at least once during these proceedings! Media tip: someone should try some investigative reporting regarding the weak sentencing and low bail amounts given to criminals by our judges and court commissioners in this county. Watch circut court online records and attend an occaisional sentencing hearing.....reasonable people would be shocked. This county is no different than Milwaukee Co., just less volume.
Marty January 27, 2013 at 02:09 PM
His job at WELS (or his upbringing in their church) had nothing to do with his sick behavior. WELS did the right thing by firing him as soon as these allegations came to light. Oh - and "Really" - you have no idea what you're talking about. Isn't it past your bed time anyways?

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