By Shereen Siewert

A 36-year-old Wausau man accused of accessing and sharing sexually explicit photos on a social media platform was convicted Tuesday on two of four felony charges filed against him, the result of a year-long investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The investigation into Duane Vlcek’s actions began in 2019, when Homeland Security officials took a referral from another agency regarding images detected by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police National Child Exploitation Center. Investigators traced pornographic images uploaded to the social media platform Kik to Vlcek, according to court documents.

Police say Vlcek admitted to searching and accessing explicit images of girls as young as 13 years old. A warrant search of Vlcek’s phone revealed multiple videos featuring prepubescent girls, according to court documents.

The case was then referred to the Marathon County District Attorney, who on Nov. 24 filed four counts of possessing child pornography against Vlcek.

On Tuesday, Vlcek was convicted on two of the four counts, part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Vlcek remains free on a signature bond ordered in December by Circuit Judge Greg Huber.

A date for sentencing has not yet been set.