Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material
Posted on 07/14/2023
Date: July 14, 2023
Case: Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material - 23-22884
Authority: Lieutenant of Detectives Tim Kemps

Washington County Sheriff’s Office Investigators arrested a 35-year-old Village of Newburg man early Wednesday morning on numerous felony charges for allegedly possessing, sharing, and soliciting child sexual abuse material. Michael Westphal was taken into custody without incident after a traffic stop as he left his Newburg residence. A subsequent search warrant was served on the residence looking for evidence of these crimes.

Washington County Sheriff’s Investigators were made aware of this case on June 20th after an Ozaukee County Sheriff Investigator found unlawful material was potentially being shared over the internet from the suspect residence. At the onset, investigators learned that Westphal was a custodian for the West Bend School District.

Sheriff Martin Schulteis said, “When investigators looked at the deeply disturbing nature of the unlawful material, coupled with the fact that the suspect was a long-time school district employee, this case was quickly identified as a top agency priority. Typically, these cases can take several months to put together; however, investigators worked diligently to put us in a place where we could act in an accelerated manner without compromising the quality of the investigation. At this time, I want to reiterate that no evidence has been found to suggest that we have any local victims, however, we must get through all the evidence before we can give that assurance to the community.”

Westphal was formally charged today in Washington County Circuit Court with ten felony counts of possession of child pornography and more charges are likely in the future as this investigation is far from over. Investigators still have a significant amount of electronic evidence to analyze and follow up to conduct. We are working in partnership with the West Bend Police Department and School District on this case and will continue the collaborative effort moving forward. We were assisted by the City of Hartford Police Department as well as the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation. We are thankful for the assistance these partners have provided and continue to provide. Pursuant to the directive of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicity, a charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty. We are releasing the name and charges at this time in the specific interest of public transparency. Anyone with pertinent information regarding the criminal investigation can contact Lieutenant of Detectives Tim Kemps with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at (262) 335-4846.