A Cuba City man accused of possessing approximately 200,000 sexually explicit images of minors on his computer has conditionally pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.
On Friday, Richard T. Geasland, 67 of Cuba City, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin to one charge of possessing child pornography. Per the terms of a plea deal, Geasland retains the right to appeal a judge's ruling upholding the search warrant that police used to seize his computer.
Geasland was arrested after police and state Department of Justice agents conducted a search warrant on his home on Oct. 6, 2015. Law enforcement was acting on a tip from a neighbor.
Geasland's attorneys sought to throw out the search warrant and charges arguing the warrant lacked probable cause. Cuba City Police Chief Terry Terpstra cited Geasland’s history of sexual assault and 1984 conviction of first degree sexual assault when requesting the search warrant.
U.S. District Court Judge James Peterson concluded this week that although police made no effort to corroborate the neighbor's statements about what Geasland had told her, the otherwise deficient warrant was saved by a finding that police had acted in good faith.
Geasland entered his guilty plea Friday on the condition he can challenge Peterson's ruling in the U.S. Seventh Circuit of Appeals. If he prevails on appeal, the case could return to Peterson without the evidence seized from Geasland's apartment.
During Friday's plea hearing, Peterson told Geasland that he faces 10 to 20 years in prison, followed by five years to life on supervised release. Sentencing is set for May 27.
“I’m happy at this point that it has come to some resolution and we can move forward,” Terpstra said. He had no further comments about the case until after the appeals process is complete.