MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Thomas J. Hook, 43, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 20 years in federal prison for possessing and transporting child pornography. This term of imprisonment will be followed by a lifetime period of supervised release. Hook pleaded guilty to these offenses on January 13, 2022.
In March 2020, law enforcement received four different CyberTips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding Hook’s illegal online activity involving the sexual exploitation of children. Based on these tips, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Hook’s home where they found multiple images of child pornography on his cell phone and laptop, including some that appeared to have been taken by Hook’s phone.
This is Hook’s second conviction involving the sexual exploitation of a minor. In 2000, he was convicted of 3rd degree sexual assault and exposing his genitals for an assault involving a 13-year-old girl. As a result of those offenses, he was required to register as a sex offender, and has three convictions for failing to comply with his sex offender registry requirements.
Judge Peterson said a lengthy sentence was warranted based on Hook’s demonstrated offenses against children and his noncompliance with his sex offender registry requirements. Judge Peterson was also concerned that Hook did not understand the seriousness of his actions.
The charges against Hook were the result of an investigation conducted by the La Crosse Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Coulee Region Children’s Internet Protection Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman prosecuted this case.