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Judge denies “earned release” for Colfax man sentenced to prison for child enticement

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  — A Dunn County judge has denied a request for “earned release” from a 35-year-old Colfax man sentenced to two years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision on one felony count of child enticement.

Judge James Peterson denied the request from Chad H. Stewart during a hearing in Dunn County Circuit Court September 29.

Judge Peterson accepted a Deferred Acceptance of a Guilty Plea (DAGP) agreement for one felony count of possession of child pornography during a court hearing in June.

During a February court hearing, Judge Peterson had accepted Stewart’s plea of guilty on both felony counts of child enticement with sexual contact and possession of child pornography.

Stewart initially was charged with seven felony counts of possessing child pornography.

Judge Peterson subsequently dismissed five felony counts of possessing child pornography based on a motion from Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf.

The Earned Release Program is pursuant to Wisconsin State Statutes 302.05 and uses two core curriculums, “Thinking for a Change,” and “Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse.”

The conditions of Stewart’s extended supervision are that he is not to view any pornographic materials and that he is required to participate in any programming required by his probation officer.

Stewart also is not allowed to have any unsupervised contact with any children or anyone under the age of 18 years for the length of the extended supervision.

He also is required to register as a lifetime sex offender and is not eligible for the Challenge Incarceration Program or the Substance Abuse Program.

Stewart may not possess any firearms or body armor and is not eligible to vote in any elections.

A review hearing has been scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court on June 4, 2027.

A two-day jury trial in the case was previously scheduled in March.

The child pornography conviction stemmed from pornographic images found on Stewart’s 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 on state Highway 40, Colfax.

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