A half dozen charges, including attempted sexual assault of a child, possession of child pornography crime and misconduct in public office, were filed against Racine mayor Gary Becker Thursday at his initial court appearance.
Racine County District Attorney Mike Nieskes says Racine Mayor Gary Becker became the subject of a state investigation, after a city IT employee discovered child pornography on Becker's personal computer. "A DCI (state Division of Criminal Investigation) agent set up a profile of a 14 year-old girl (and) had about a two and a half-hour on-line chat with Gary Becker, Monday of this week into Tuesday morning," Nieskes told reporters. "They set up a meet, the complaint indicates for sex. They were going to meet at Brookfield Square." Becker was arrested Tuesday at that Milwaukee area shopping mall.
Asking city employees to repair his personal computers appears to have led to Becker's downfall. D.A. Nieskes said the DCI investigation revealed that Becker had city IT staff fix his computer at least once before. "A disk was recovered from that previous repair. That disk had a single image that is alleged to be child pornography," said Nieskes.
A court commissioner, in response to a request by Becker's attorney, reduced the mayor's cash bond to $10,000 and ordered that he have no conduct with minor children, other than his own. He's also prohibited from consuming alcohol, using a computer or going on the Internet.
Becker, who waived a preliminary hearing, is due back in court February 10th to enter pleas to the charges. He did not speak to reporters as he left the law enforcement center. During his court appearance, Becker's jacket lay on the floor beside him. Embroidered on it: Gary Becker, Mayor .