Prosecutors say the judge used a messaging app to upload several images and videos of children being sexually abused.
MILWAUKEE (CN) — Following a two-month investigation, a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge was charged Wednesday with seven counts of possessing child pornography.
Prosecutors say Brett Blomme, 38, used the messaging app Kik to upload pictures and videos of child pornography on 27 separate occasions in October and November 2020 under the username “dommasterbb,” which was registered on Kik using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Agent Tamara Taubel with the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) began an investigation in February after being tipped off by Kik through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Investigators — with assistance from Kik, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Charter Communications, among others — connected transactions of child pornography to multiple other email addresses, phone numbers and IP addresses, including two at a Milwaukee County government building, to verify Blomme’s identity. They also made connections to internet services at Blomme’s Cottage Grove home and the Milwaukee home of Blomme’s friend, named in the criminal complaint as Individual B.
Authorities arrested Blomme on Tuesday night at his home in the Madison suburb. He spent the night at the Dane County Jail and is charged in Dane County Circuit Court, where he was scheduled to make an initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon. Madison criminal defense attorney Christopher Van Wagner represents Blomme, according to court records.
Each of the seven felony child pornography charges Blomme faces carries a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than three years initial confinement if convicted, and each is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 or imprisonment of no more than 25 years, or both, according to a release from the state DOJ.
Investigators verified that dates Individual B told investigators Blomme was at his house coincided with dates from Kik records showing when “dommasterbb” used Individual B’s internet service to upload child pornography videos and images, the criminal complaint says.
Blomme was elected to the bench in 2020 after defeating incumbent Judge Paul Dedinsky, an appointee of former Governor Scott Walker. After his appointment in August, Blomme worked in children’s court at the Vel R. Phillips Juvenile Justice Center in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa.
He previously served on Milwaukee’s board of zoning appeals upon appointment by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who also backed Blomme in his recent judicial election. Blomme previously served as the president and CEO of the Cream City Foundation, a local LGBTQ advocacy group.
Barrett expressed “complete surprise” at the news of Blomme’s arrest, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wednesday.
DCI led the investigation in conjunction with local police and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, and the case will be prosecuted by Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul’s office.