Philip Wentzel, a Milwaukee County sheriff's sergeant who drugged, molested and filmed young girls during camping trips to a trailer park in Campbellsport was sentenced Friday to 40 years in federal prison for producing child pornography.
Philip Wentzel, 41, of West Allis must serve another 10 years of supervision if he makes it to the end of his prison term.
Wentzel, who also once served as spokesman for the sheriff's office, pleaded guilty in September to six counts of child pornography production, and to a seventh count this week, each involving different victims. He was charged in May.
Spectators packed the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman for Friday's sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Penelope Coblentz, who prosecuted the case, said two of the victims, now ages 15 and 16, spoke at the sentencing, identified only by the same initials as used in the indictment. One turned to Wentzel and said that after all he'd done to her, he still couldn't look at her, Coblentz said.
The father of one victim tried to make a statement, but became too emotional and had to leave the courtroom, Coblentz said.
Wentzel's ex-wife also spoke, Coblentz said, and was very critical of him, saying he could have stopped his behavior many times over the two or more years authorities said it took place.
The FBI investigation of Wentzel began in July 2011 after agents in Denver raided the home of a man suspected of child pornography and found links to Wentzel on the man's computer, according to the criminal complaint.
On encrypted files, agents found child pornography including geographic coordinates, which led them to a lot in a campground near Campbellsport. The campground owner said the lot had been rented by Wentzel since 2008.
Computer searches also pointed to a computer used in Franklin, where Wentzel once lived. He moved out after he and his wife filed for divorce this year, records show.
Wentzel was arrested at work in May.
He also spoke at the sentencing, and told Adelman he had rediscovered religion and found God, according to Coblentz. "I never heard him really apologize," she said.
Coblentz said the pornography Wentzel produced appeared to have been mostly shared within a small circle of other pedophiles, and so far has not shown up among widely distributed child porn that moves around the Internet among commercial sites and peer-to-peer software.
But all the recovered images have been turned over to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which keeps a registry of child porn that helps investigators track offenders and find and identify victims.
Coblentz said none of Wentzel's victims was interested in seeking restitution under a federal law that provides it to child porn victims. She said there is little chance Wentzel, who was represented by federal public defenders, could pay any of it anyway.