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By Bill Houston
Union Grove, WI — A Racine County Sheriff’s Department investigation into a cyber tip sent from Instagram to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has led to child pornography charges against a Union Grove man.
Jay R. Demant uploaded a 27-second long video to Instagram under the username “jaydemant394” on August 1, 2019. The video reportedly shows a prepubescent female child undressing in front of a camera before posing fully nude, according to the Racine County District Attorney’s criminal complaint.
The video was uploaded to Instagram from an IP address belonging to Demant, according to the D.A.’s office.
On Monday, Oct. 21, the Sheriff’s office executed a search warrant at Demant’s residence, 4915 Schoen Rd., No. 75, leading to 19 separate felony possession of child pornography charges.
If convicted, each charge carries prison time up to 25 years and a fine of up to $100,000.
According to the criminal complaint, Demant was not at home when the warrant was executed, and his adult daughter advised deputies his regular work schedule keeps Demant away from home Monday through Thursday.
Upon his return, Demant surrendered to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Substation and after being advised of his rights, agreed to make a statement without counsel present.
According to the D.A.’s report, Demant said he had used Instagram “when it first came out,” but denied any recent use. He also denied using the username jaydemant394 for either Instagram or email.
The criminal complaint states Demant provided passcodes for his cell phone and for an electronic safe recovered from his bedroom.
Investigators subsequently discovered an email account with the username jaydemant394 associated with Demant’s cell phone.
Inside the safe, investigators located a CD-R and a USB drive containing a series of videos and photos showing prepubescent girls, ranging in ages estimated between 3 to 10-years-old, in various stages of undress and engaged in numerous lewd acts with adult males.
According to the criminal complaint, the 59-year-old Demant said he knew people who had viewed child pornography. He reportedly said “everyone has seen it,” and questioned how something could be illegal if it is on the internet.
However, when asked about viewing or possessing child pornography himself, Demant repeatedly used answers such as “I don’t recall” and “I don’t think so.”
On Tuesday, Oct. 29, Racine County Supplemental Court Commissioner Robert Goepel set a cash bond at $10,000, which Demant posted under conditions he not use or possess any electronic devices and not have any use of the internet.
Demant has a preliminary hearing in front of Judicial Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 6 in the lower level hearing room of the Racine County Law Enforcement Center.