Duane S. Vlcek booking photo, courtesy of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department

By Shereen Siewert

A 36-year-old Wausau man convicted of accessing and sharing sexually explicit photos on a social media platform will head to prison, after he was sentenced Friday by a Marathon County judge.

Duane Vlcek was convicted in July on two of four felony charges filed against him, the result of a year-long investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. On Friday, Circuit Judge Greg Huber sentenced Vlcek to three years in prison followed by five years extended supervision.

The investigation into 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 in November 2020 filed four counts of possessing child pornography against Vlcek.

Vlcek, who was not in custody before his sentencing, will also be required to register as a sex offender. Online records show he remains in the Marathon County Jail awaiting transport to the Wisconsin Prison System as of Monday.