McKenzie W. Johnson, 34, of Ladysmith has been charged in a two-count indictment with allegedly producing child pornography and with possessing child pornography.
The indictment alleges that on January 13, Johnson used a minor to produce a visual depiction of the minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The second count of the indictment alleges that on August 24, he possessed an iPad that contained visual depictions involving the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment alleges that at least one of the depictions involved a minor who was not yet 12 years of age.
Johnson was arrested in Ladysmith on August 24 and was charged with producing child pornography in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison on August 26. Federal law requires that an offense charged by criminal complaint must be presented to a grand jury for indictment.
At the time Johnson allegedly produced the child pornography, he was a teacher at the Ladysmith High School. This offense alleged in the indictment does not involve a victim from Wisconsin.
If convicted, Johnson faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison on the production charge, and a maximum of 20 years on the possession charge.
The charges against him are the result of an investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Ladysmith Police Department, Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the Ladysmith School District, and the Fontana (California) Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman is handling the prosecution.