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Former Somerset man sent to jail in child porn conviction

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A former Somerset man was sentenced to jail and probation in a conviction on one felony count of possession of child pornography Tuesday, May 22.

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Richard Lewis Tereau, 42, St. Paul, avoided prison if he never returns to Judge Howard W. Cameron's court on a criminal charge.

Judge Cameron sentenced Tereau to 10 months in St. Croix Count Jail and seven years probation. A five-year prison sentence was stayed with the judge's condition.

Tereau was also fined $5,768 for the felony conviction and additional child porn charges that were read into the record and dismissed.

Tereau was ordered to register as a sex offender in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In handing down the decision Cameron said, "I struggled with this. The court has to use discretion. This is not a violence issue, not an alcohol issue, the risk is low, but it doesn't mean what you did is correct."

The judge said that by downloading child pornography Tereau's crime was creating a market for it.

"It is in the public interest that you stay employed", the judge said adding that Tureau's best treatment was outside of prison with the department of corrections on probation.

He stayed the prison sentence on the condition that, "You never see me again."

Prosecutor Frank Collins disagreed with the pre-sentence investigation's conclusion a prison sentence was not required for Tereau's crime. "I can't convince myself the offense does not result in prison," he said and recommended three years incarceration.

Defense attorney Robert Werthheimer urged probation and conditional jail time. He pointed out, "He was cooperative with law enforcement from the get-go. He didn't distribute or sell images and has no prior criminal record."

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