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Crackdown on child porn leads authorities to room full of sex toys, complaint alleges

Todd Charles Featherstone

Upon entry to a Tower Road residence on a search warrant for suspected child pornography, authorities found a "large amount" of sex toys, which included a basement room dedicated solely to sexual devices, according to a criminal complaint filed in St. Croix County Circuit Court.

The owner of the home, Todd Charles Featherstone, 57, was charged with causing a child older than 13 to view sexual activity, attempting to expose a child to harmful material and possession of methamphetamine — all felonies — as well as misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia after he allegedly sent a nude photo of himself to an undercover deputy posing as a 15-year-old boy.

Featherstone was released on $2,500 cash bond March 14, a few days after he was arrested and charged. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 7.

According to the complaint:

On Sept. 7, 2018, a St. Croix County deputy placed an ad on doublelist.com with the persona of a 15-year-old boy from Hudson.

"Cute guy in search of something new," the post read. "Hit me up if that interests you. Can't travel far, so if you can travel that is a plus. No judgement here."

Later that same day, the deputy received an email in response, which stated: "are u still looking i'm from hudson too," which was accompanied by a picture of the front side of a naked male body.

On multiple occasions, through both email and text, the deputy told Featherstone he was 15 years old, which Featherstone acknowledged each time and maintained contact.

During one text exchange, Featherstone said he was 57 and lived in Hudson before he sent another nude photo of himself. The correspondence continued over text until Sept. 13, 2018.

The case remained open to see if Featherstone would re-establish contact, which he never did.

On March 6, an anonymous informant told the sheriff's office that Featherstone had child pornography on devices at his residence.

Photos taken in April 2015 during a drug-related search of Featherstone's residence by deputies matched the setting of the September 2018 photos sent to the deputy's undercover account on doublelist.com.

Deputies discovered the sex toys, which were in both Featherston's bedroom as well as the basement, during a search warrant executed March 11 at Featherstone's residence.

When questioned by authorities, Featherstone denied any correspondence with a juvenile and said his email, phone and photos were hacked and used for the conversations with the juvenile, though he had no proof. He offered two individuals who were involved, one of which was listed as incarcerated in the St. Croix County Jail from Sept. 7, 2018 to Sept. 10, 2018.

An assortment of drug paraphernalia as well as multiple items that tested positive for methamphetamine were located during the search as well.