Former Oakwood public safety director sentenced in child porn case

Alexander Bebris
Alexander Bebris

The former Oakwood public safety director who pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography tearfully apologized to his family and those who trusted him Friday afternoon during a sentencing hearing in Wisconsin federal court.

Alexander Bebris, who oversaw police officers, firefighters and EMTs in Oakwood for 11 years, was sentenced to serve five years in prison. Bebris will also be on supervised release when he gets out and will have to register as a sex offender, Judge William Griesbach said.

“One can only wonder what went into Mr. Bebris mind. Here’s a person who for some of his career had to investigate child sexual abuse..." the judge said.

“It’s a very sad and tragic crime and it has huge consequences,” Griesbach said.

ExploreEx-Oakwood public safety director changing plea in child porn case

Bebris was sentenced Friday afternoon during a federal district court hearing that was conducted over a Zoom call. Bebris appeared from his attorney’s office. Griesbach agreed to stay the prison sentence pending an appeal by the defense over the judge’s decision to deny a motion to suppress.

Bebris was accused of sending two images of child pornography to his then-girlfriend via Facebook in 2018. 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 court said during the sentencing hearing that Bebris has no prior criminal record, has a strong employment history and the number of depictions in the case was fewer than a usual child pornography case. The judge said he felt the five-year prison sentence, which was agreed upon by both the defense and prosecutors via a conditional plea deal, was enough for justice to be served. He also noted that he felt Bebris has the qualities to live a productive, law-abiding life once he serves his sentence.

The five-year sentence is the mandatory minimum, court records and the judge said.

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

Previously, the judge denied a motion to suppress evidence in the case when the defense argued that Facebook acted improperly when it found images that were allegedly sent from Bebris to his then-girlfriend. The condition of the plea agreement is that if an appeals court overturns that ruling, Bebris will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, the defense said in its sentencing memorandum filed before the Friday hearing.

During his time to speak Friday, Bebris said he takes full responsibility for his actions. He said they were wrong and he has no excuse for the activity.

“All I can do is express my remorse and my commitment to be a better person once again. The person that I was once in the past,” Bebris said. “Second, I want to apologize to my family, my friends and all those who had faith and trust in me in the past. I have hurt you all deeply, but most important I have probably hurt the ones who loved me the most.”

In Other News