By Ed Treleven
Wisconsin State Journal
A Darlington sex offender pleaded guilty Wednesday, June 11 to a federal child sexual exploitation charge for taking video at home of a young girl doing exercises nude in 2008.
Timmy Reichling, 47, who still faces child pornography and sexual exploitation charges in Lafayette County Circuit Court, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman said that’s the sentence she agreed to seek under a plea agreement with Reichling when he is sentenced on Aug. 20 by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb.
By law, Reichling could face up to 50 years in prison.
He was convicted of second-degree sexual assault in 1993 and was released from prison in 2008.
Altman said that on Aug. 22, police executed search warrants for Reichling’s bedroom at his parents’ home and in a trailer on the property that Reichling also used. In his bedroom, police found a VHS tape that showed Reichling with a girl who was 8 or 9 years old at the time.
At one point in the tape, Reichling is shown doing exercises and stopping to better position the camera, then later the girl is shown nude, doing the same exercises, Altman said.
Reichling had twice challenged the validity of the search warrants that led to the tape’s discovery, but both times Crabb denied motions to suppress the searches. Under the plea agreement, Reichling can withdraw his guilty plea if an appeals court overturns Crabb’s rulings.
In August, Reichling was charged in Lafayette County Circuit Court after authorities said they found millions of child pornography images on computer hard drives and other storage devices, including many of a 13-year-old girl with whom Reichling was allegedly corresponding on Facebook.
Reichling was pretending at the time, in 2010, to be a teenage boy named Nathan Solman, and the girl sent him naked pictures of herself from her cellphone, according to a criminal complaint. The relationship deteriorated in 2011 after Reichling started threatening to send her pictures to her family and friends if she did not send him more, the complaint states.
A status conference in the Lafayette County case is scheduled for Sept. 24.