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Colfax man pleads not guilty on 7 counts of possessing child pornography

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — A 34-year-old Town of Colfax man has pleaded not guilty in Dunn County Circuit Court on seven felony counts of possessing child pornography.
Chad H. Stewart appeared before Judge James Peterson September 2 and entered a plea of not guilty on all seven counts.

Stewart is accused of having child pornography images on his laptop computer.
According to the criminal complaint, Dunn County investigators were contacted by a Barron County detective in August of 2015. Barron County had received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of a nude child image that appeared to be a very young female that was uploaded to a website.

The Barron County detective served a subpoena to the IP holder, CenturyLink, and received information back that the IP address from which the child’s image had been uploaded belonged to a Dunn County residence at N7599 state Highway 40, Colfax.

Dunn County investigators learned that the IP address was registered to Chad Stewart.

Stewart eventually told investigators that he enjoys looking at pornography but denied looking at any images other than individuals 18 years or older, according to the complaint.

Investigators spoke to Stewart again in January of this year, and Stewart admitted to viewing more than 50 images of child pornography on his laptop over a several-year period.

Stewart denied having any contact with the child victim and agreed to complete a polygraph.

A polygraph was conducted on February 11, and the detective administering the polygraph reported that Stewart had passed the polygraph, according to the complaint.

Stewart is a free on a $1,000 signature bond.

The seven counts of possessing child pornography are Class D felonies and carry a penalty for each count of up to 25 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000.

Stewart is scheduled for another court appearance in Dunn County October 31.