A 59-year-old Union Grove man appeared in court on Tuesday, Oct. 29, on 19 criminal charges of possessing child pornography.

A Racine County Court commissioner set cash bond at $10,000 for Jay R. Demant before binding him over for trial on the charges. He was also ordered not to use the internet or possess electronic devices while the case is pending.

Jay R. Demant

According to the criminal complaint, the Racine County Sheriff’s Department began investigating a video clip posted to Instagram of a prepubescent girl undressing in front of the camera. Investigators determined the video was posted on Aug. 1 by someone with the username jaydemant394.

On Oct. 21, investigators executed a search warrant at Demant’s residence in Union Grove and were told by his adult daughter that he was not there due to his work schedule. During their search investigators found a safe in Demant’s bedroom.

Demant later came to the Sheriff’s Office and agreed to make a statement without legal counsel. He also gave investigators the passcode to his mobile phone and safe, according to the complaint.

During questioning, Demant allegedly denied using the online name of jaydemant394 for Instagram or email. According to the complaint, Demant said he knew people who had viewed child pornography and stated, “Everyone has seen it.”

Demant allegedly asked investigators how child porn could be illegal if it is on the internet.

When asked about viewing or possessing child pornography Demant couched his answers by saying, “I don’t recall” and “I don’t think so,” according to the complaint.

While searching Demant’s phone investigators found an email account with the username jaydemant394, the complaint alleges. It further alleges that investigators found a CD-ROM and several USB drives – including one labeled “secret” – in Demant’s safe.

The complaint alleges that investigators found a series of photos and videos on the CD and USB drive that feature prepubescent girls – some as young as 2 to 5 years old – naked and/or engaged in sex acts with adult men.

Each count of possession of child pornography, a Class D felony, carries a potential penalty of up to 25 years in prison upon conviction.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 6 in Racine County Circuit Court.

For more court news see the Nov. 1 edition of the Westine Report.