By Shereen Siewert
A 53-year-old Wittenberg farmer is facing an array of felony charges after allegedly planting a recording device in a room where employees, including a 16-year-old girl, regularly changed their clothing.
Keith A. Watter was charged Wednesday in Marathon County Court with child sexual exploitation, possession of child pornography, child enticement, capturing an intimate representation and invasion of privacy using a surveillance device.
Police launched an investigation Sept. 22 after a former employee reported discovering a camera in a bedroom where employees at Watter’s farm were allegedly instructed to change their clothing before and after their shifts.
When questioned, Watter allegedly told police he planted cameras because he suspected his employees of stealing, but also claimed he told employees the cameras were there. Investigators found numerous video clips of employees on Watter’s laptop, which Watter allegedly said were for “personal use.”
During an initial appearance Sept. 30 Circuit Judge Greg Huber ordered Watter held on a $10,000 cash bond. Court records show Watter posted the cash one day later and is due in court Oct. 7 for a preliminary hearing.
Water faces up to 97 years in the Wisconsin Prison System if he is convicted on all the charges filed against him.