By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — A judge on Monday ruled there is probable cause for a 32-year-old Plover man arrested in an undercover child sex sting to stand trial on multiple criminal charges.
Police say Christopher Smith began communicating in mid-April with a person online who he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Investigators said the two communicated repeatedly about sex and marriage, and Smith allegedly sent messages asking to “try for a baby” with the “girl,” who was really an undercover police officer. He was arrested April 18 after he drove from his Plover home to Weston, allegedly to meet the “teen” in person.
Smith faces charges filed April 22 in Marathon County Circuit Court of child enticement, using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and soliciting an intimate representation from a minor. The charges carry a combined maximum penalty of more than 68 years in the Wisconsin Prison System and up to $135,000 in fines.
At Monday’s hearing, Smith waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was bound over for trial. He remains jailed on a $25,000 bond, the first $5,000 of which must be paid in cash.
A pretrial conference is set for May 23.