Friday, Feb. 20, 2009

Points East Owner Accused of Child Porn

By Evan Rytlewski
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Uncomfortable news from the Journal Sentinel's News Watch. Mark Rasmussen, the owner of one of the city's more active music venues, Points East Pub, has been charged on for counts for possession of child pornography. From the Sentinel:
Rasmussen faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 on each count if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint:

Wisconsin Department of Justice and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents last week executed search warrants on Rasmussen's home and business, Points East Pub, 1501 N. Jackson St., a popular venue for live music. The officers confiscated two laptop computers.

The investigators had reviewed documents the federal investigators obtained that showed that Rasmussen had purchased six 30-day memberships into child pornography sites in 2006 and 2007 using a PayPal account.

Rasmussen told investigators that he believed he had been addicted to sex since 1995 or 1996. He said he surfed the Web for pornography but thought that if he viewed but did not download the images, it was legal. The complaint says he also told investigators he deleted images of subjects if he thought they were under 18.
Points East Pub appears to be operating normally. It will be open for tonight's Melismatics/Etiquette show.
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