A Milwaukee County judge who lives in Cottage Grove was charged Wednesday with seven counts of possessing child pornography, which included graphic videos depicting the sexual assaults of children.
Circuit Judge Brett R. Blomme, 38, of Cottage Grove, was charged in Dane County Circuit Court following his arrest on Tuesday by the state Division of Criminal Investigation. He was being held in the Dane County Jail until appearing in court Wednesday afternoon.
Several other agencies, including the Cottage Grove Police Department, took part in the investigation.
The 15-page criminal complaint discusses the charges and describes the six videos and one still image that formed the basis for the charges.
Blomme serves in the court’s Children’s Division. On Wednesday, the state Supreme Court said Blomme is “currently unable to properly discharge his official duties” and ordered him temporarily relieved of those duties. While under the order his judicial salary will be withheld, the court said.
If convicted, Blomme faces up to 25 years of combined prison and extended supervision, with a mandatory minimum of three years in prison.
Blomme was released on a signature bond after appearing in court with his attorney, Chris Van Wagner. Court Commissioner Brian Asmus ordered Blomme not to use social media or file-sharing capabilities on the internet and not to have any unsupervised contact with minor children other than his own.
He will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on April 29.
Blomme, who is serving his first term as a judge, was elected to Milwaukee County’s Branch 5 in April and began work in August. According to a biography on Blomme’s website, which was deleted on Wednesday, he was the president and CEO of Cream City Foundation in Milwaukee. Before that, he served as the director of major gifts for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and also served as a lawyer with the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office.
According to the complaint, the investigation began Feb. 11 after a tip was forwarded to DCI from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tip concerned a Kik messenger app user, later identified as Blomme, who had uploaded apparent child pornography through Kik on 27 occasions in October and November 2020, the complaint states.
Among the 27 files were the seven files for which Blomme was charged, some of which depict the sexual assault of children by adults.
The files were sent to other Kik users through private chat messages or shared in a messaging group, the complaint states.
Blomme’s Kik username was linked to Blomme by his Gmail email address, along with IP addresses through Charter Communications, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the complaint states.
The Charter internet account IP was linked to Blomme’s address in Cottage Grove, and through a search warrant for the Gmail account, the user was listed as Blomme. Emails looked at in the Gmail account further linked Blomme to the account, including one that concerned screening information required for employees to enter Milwaukee County government buildings, according to the complaint.
One of the emails in the account, the draft of a Christmas card, also contained a photo of Blomme wearing a black judge’s robe, alongside another man and two children, the complaint states.
Van Wagner said in court Blomme lives with his husband and their two children.
Several other emails in the account also linked Blomme to the Gmail account, according to the complaint, including an email from Kik in November telling him that he had Kik messages waiting for him at the username “DomMasterBB.”
A week later was another email from Kik asking if Blomme wanted to delete and permanently deactivate his Kik account.
Search warrants were also executed at Blomme’s judicial chambers, his vehicle, and his homes in Milwaukee and Dane counties, the state Department of Justice said.
On Tuesday, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Mary Triggiano, chief judge for state Judicial District 1, which contains Milwaukee County, issued a statement saying that she could not comment on Blomme and said his court calendar is being covered by another judge.
Anniversary of priest murder tops recent local crime news