Teen spared prison but sent to jail in child pornography case

By 
BILL SCHANEN IV
Ozaukee Press staff

A Grafton teenager who was 17 when he was arrested on a child pornography charge last year was spared a prison sentence but ordered to serve nine months in the county jail last week.

Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy also placed Joseph D. Valentino, now 19, on probation for three years during the Sept. 22 sentencing hearing.

Valentino pleaded guilty in June to possession of child pornography by a person younger than 18, and at the time Ozaukee County Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Lindsay recommended that he be sentenced to a year in prison and two years of extended supervision.

Valentino was arrested on April 13, 2021, after the Grafton Police Department received a tip from the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force about images and videos of child pornography shared on the KIK social media platform.

The tip was based on an investigation by an FBI agent who posted the question,“Anyone got infant?” on the social media site. The user ITSSERENITYTIME posted multiple images and videos of child pornography in response to the agent’s question.

Grafton Detective Eric Sutherland examined the 52 images and videos that were uploaded by that user and determined that the vast majority of them depicted explicit sexual conduct involving boys and girls between infancy and early puberty.

Authorities traced the username to a company that provided internet service to Valentino’s home, which was searched by officers on April 13, 2021.

When confronted by Sutherland, Valentino admitted to using KIK under the username ITSSERENTIYTIME and said that he had been banned from KIK for sending and receiving child pornography. Valentino said he then switched to another website that has chatrooms in which child pornography is distributed, according to the criminal complaint.

Valentino admitted to using an old cell phone to view images of children between the ages of 4 and 5. He said there was between 20 and 30 such images on the phone, adding that he knew that was illegal, the complaint states.

The majority of the 78 unique images found on Valentino’s phone showed prepubescent naked boys and girls, some who were infants and toddlers, engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Valentino, who had been free from jail in lieu of $7,500 while his case was pending was remanded into custody after pleading guilty on June 27.

As conditions of probation, Malloy ordered him to register as a sex offender for 15 years, participate in treatment, not to access any adult-oriented website, comply with rules set by his probation agent for using a cell phone, not to work in any job involving children and to maintain absolute sobriety.

 

 

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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