Ex-Oakwood safety director charged in child porn case asks for minimum sentence

Former Oakwood Public Service Director Alex Bebris
Former Oakwood Public Service Director Alex Bebris

The former Oakwood public safety director who pleaded guilty to a charge of distributing child pornography is asking a judge to sentence him to the minimum prison sentence possible.

Attorneys for Alexander Bebris wrote in a sentencing memorandum that Bebris entered into a conditional plea agreement with prosecutors and both are recommending a five-year prison sentence. The memorandum says the judge has the option to sentence Bebris to more time in prison, but says the defense believes the court should impose the joint recommendation of five years.

"Bebris understands the gravity of the offense and accepts the consequence of his actions,” the sentencing memorandum says. “While distribution of child pornography is inherently a serious crime, the facts of this case fall on the mitigated spectrum of these types of offenses.”

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Bebris oversaw police officers, firefighters and EMTs in Oakwood for 11 years before leaving in November 2017. The charges stem from Facebook messages sent in September 2018.

He is expected to make an appearance in the Eastern District of Wisconsin Court Friday for sentencing.

The memorandum says that the defense is appealing a previous ruling by the federal court denying his motion to suppress key evidence in the case. He said if an appeals court rules in favor of the defense, Bebris would have the right to withdraw his plea.

Bebris was accused of sending two images of child pornography to his then-girlfriend via Facebook. According to court documents, Facebook discovered the images and sent a tip to the Nation Center for Missing and Exploited Children who alerted law enforcement. The defense said there is no evidence of wide-scale distribution of illicit images.

The defense also said that he served in law enforcement for 30 years including working in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio and that Bebris is a good father and a family man.

In a “defendant’s written offender’s version” court document filed in the case, Bebris says that he began seeing his then-girlfriend and would sometimes communicate on Facebook messenger.

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“We sent multiple pictures back and forth, most of which were pictures of nude adults,” Bebris wrote. “On Sept. 7, 2018, I sent (her) two images of child pornography which I came across on the TOR browser. I had downloaded the TOR browser out of curiosity; I wanted to learn more about coding.”

He said when police came to his apartment, he was truthful with them and that the two images were the only images of child pornography he distributed.

“I regret my actions and know that they were both inappropriate and illegal," Bebris said in the court document. "I take full responsibility for what I did and will never act in a similar manner again,”

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