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JANESVILLE

A Janesville man convicted of possessing child pornography was sentenced to probation during a hearing in Rock County Court on Tuesday.

Christian T. Cheatle, 20, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography before Judge John Wood. Cheatle received a withheld sentence of six years probation, but he will be required to register as a sex offender for the next 15 years.

Conditions of the probation require Cheatle to complete assessments deemed appropriate by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, including sex offender treatment.

Cheatle was originally charged with five counts of possession of child pornography stemming from incidents tracked by authorities between July 10, 2020, and Sept. 22, 2020. Three counts were dismissed but read into the court record as part of the plea agreement with the Rock County District Attorney’s Office.

Cheatle was arrested by Janesville police Oct. 2, 2020, at a home in the 4100 block of Deer Crossing Drive after investigations by the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Authorities received information after a complaint was made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by internet data storage company Dropbox. Dropbox notified investigators that an IP address linked to a home in the 4100 block of Deer Crossing Drive was in possession of child pornography.

In interviews with authorities, Cheatle said he sought illicit content of 14-year-old children and would trade images through the online chat forum Omegle and messenger app Kik, court records show.

The child pornography in Cheatle’s possession were 26 files containing pictures and videos of pubescent and prepubescent males engaging in sex acts, the criminal complaint states.

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