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Trial set in child porn case

August 29, 2012
By NIKKI YOUNK - Staff Writer , The Daily News

FLORENCE, Wis. - A Florence man accused of possessing child pornography, weapons, and a stolen lighthouse lens has been scheduled for a two-day jury trial in one of his three pending criminal cases.

Rodney V. Conn, 65, will go to trial on the child pornography and weapons charges on Dec. 17 and 18.

Special prosecutor Jay Olivares said that he anticipates calling five or six witnesses, including deputies from the Florence County Sheriff's Department and experts from the state crime lab.

Conn's attorney Michael Scholke said that he plans to call three or four witnesses, some of who will offer testimony that may raise questions about who actually owned the computer that contained the suspected child pornography.

Judge Leon D. Stenz felt it was necessary to keep the three cases against Conn separate.

In the stolen lighthouse lens case, Conn is scheduled for a pre-trial on Nov. 6.

In the misdemeanor violation of a restraining order case, Conn is scheduled for a one-day jury trial on Dec. 11.

The charges against Conn stem from a May 24 incident.

Acting on a tip, deputies searched Conn's residence and found images of possible child pornography on a computer, a lens believed to be stolen from the Huron Island Lighthouse in the mid-1970s, and four firearms.

Since Conn is a convicted felon, he cannot legally own firearms.

In other Florence County Court action:

- Johnathon Mark Plonty, 25, of Commonwealth, Wis. waived his preliminary examination on theft charges. He is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 11.

Plonty faces five felony counts of burglary to a building or dwelling, one felony count of concealing stolen property, three misdemeanor counts of concealing stolen property, and one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.

According to the criminal complaint, Plonty stands accused of breaking into and stealing from several houses and storage units throughout the county.

During Plonty's court appearance on Tuesday, Florence County District Attorney Douglas Drexler noted that authorities are still looking for victims.

Plonty also faces similar charges in Dickinson and Marinette counties for allegedly breaking into and stealing from storage units there.

- Lisa Marie Urban, 24, of Aurora, Wis. waived her preliminary examination on a child abuse charge. She is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 11.

Urban faces one felony count of child abuse-reckless conduct with a probability of great bodily harm and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, Urban allegedly grabbed a seven-year-old child off of a bicycle, causing injury to the child's neck. The child did not need to be hospitalized.

Nikki Younk's e-mail address is nyounk@ironmountaindailynews.com.

 
 

 

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