WAUSAU (WKOW) -- Marathon county prosecutors have filed more child pornography charges against Thomas Beer.
Initially, the District Attorney's office accused the 51-year-old Weston man of downloading eight pornographic pictures on his cell phone.
Now, the charges have escalated, with Beer now facing 48 counts of felony possession of child pornography following a search of his apartment on December 10, according to the criminal complaint.
Capt. Clay Schulz of Everest Metro Police told 27 News' affiliate WAOW-TV that the investigation started in late November after a child crimes unit in Fairfax, Va., learned of possible child pornography images related to a computer account. When they traced them, they found they went to Beer's phone. Beer allegedly loaded the images in February while he was in Virginia, according to Schulz.
"I know there are hundreds of photographs. They are very disturbing," Schulz said.
During an initial appearance Tuesday, circuit Judge Mike Moran set Beer's bond at $75,000 cash. Beer does not have an attorney yet. However, he is scheduled to return to court Wednesday to see if he qualifies for a public defender.
Beer's preliminary hearing is set for December 27.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to 1200 years in prison, as the maximum punishment for each count of possessing child pornography is 25 years.
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