CUBA CITY—A Cuba City man who pleaded guilty to federal charges of possessing child pornography was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Richard T. Geasland, 67 of Cuba City, was arrested on Oct. 6, 2015, following the execution of a search warrant granted to the Cuba City Police Department.
During a search of Geasland’s apartment on Oct. 6, 2015, officers located an extensive collection of child pornography on Geasland’s computer.
According to a report, Geasland initially confided in a neighbor that he had a prior conviction for sexually assaulting a child and that he looked at child pornography on his computer. After the neighbor contacted law enforcement, a search warrant was issued for Geasland’s residence. The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) assisted the Cuba City Police Department with the investigation.
“A computer seized during the search contained over 30,000 images of child pornography,” the report states.
The case was referred to a federal prosecutor.
On March 11, Geasland pleaded guilty to this charge. As part of the plea deal, Geasland retains the right to appeal a judge’s ruling upholding the search warrant that police used to seize his computer. Geasland’s attorneys sought to throw out the search warrant and charges arguing the warrant lacked probable cause. The condition allows Geasland to challenge Peterson’s ruling in the U.S. Seventh Circuit of Appeals. If Geasland prevails on appeal, the case could return to Peterson without the evidence seized from Geasland’s apartment.
Cuba City Police Chief Terry Terpstra cited Geasland’s history of sexual assault and a 1984 conviction of first degree sexual assault, which resulted in a 15-year prison sentence, when requesting the search warrant.
At the March 11 hearing, U.S. District Court Judge James Peterson concluded that although police made no effort to corroborate the neighbor’s statements about what Geasland confided, the otherwise deficient warrant was saved by a finding that police had acted in good faith.
Last week, Peterson sentenced Geasland to 10 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography.
Geasland’s sentence is the minimum incarceration for the charged offense at the federal level. The same charge at a local court hearing would have been a minimum sentence of three years.
The prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Pfluger.
Terpstra said none of the images collected during the search of Geasland’s property were of local people.