GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

UPDATE: Lawrence businessman facing child porn charges to remain in jail until trial

Local News
THURSDAY 10/21/2021 1:50 p.m.

(WFRV) – The Lawrence businessman who is accused of recording a 16-year-old girl in his home was in court on Thursday and will remain in jail until his trial.

According to officials, Michael Cannell will remain in jail until his trial. Cannel is facing four charges of production of child pornography when he allegedly secretly recorded a 16-year-old girl in his home.

His trial is scheduled to start on Dec. 27 and is reportedly expected to last up to three weeks. A pre-trial will be held on Dec. 10 at 1:30 p.m.

The judge said there was strong evidence against Cannell, which is the reasoning behind not letting Cannell back to his family.

Cannell’s girlfriend, Samantha Trebilcock is also facing charges for her involvement in the incident.

Local 5 will continue to update this story as more information is released.

ORIGINAL: Federal child pornography case against Lawrence businessman will continue

WEDNESDAY 10/6/2021 6:13 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Wednesday morning, a Preliminary Hearing was held in federal court for Michael Cannell.

Cannell faces four charges of Producing Child Pornography after authorities say he allegedly recorded a 16-year-old girl in a bathroom in his Town of Lawrence home.

“The recording device was positioned, was directly on top of the sink, and Minor Female One was in front of the sink, looking in the mirror, removing makeup throughout some of these videos, and was within I would say, I would estimate three feet or less, depending on how she turned, which angle she turned, which direction she turned to do what she needed to do in the bathroom,” Sgt. Tracy Holschbach of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office said during her testimony over Zoom.

That minor female was reportedly brought to Cannell’s house by his girlfriend.

“She is a very close friend and an aunt-type figure to Minor Female One,” Sgt. Holschbach said.

Cannell and the woman had reportedly discussed the minor female in text messages dating back to March.

“Did you find text messages you believe to be pertinent in terms of the intent of the defendant as to Minor Female One?” Federal Prosecutor William Roach asked Sgt. Holschbach.

She replied, “They were sexually suggestive and egregious at times, yes.”

Cut to Aug. 6, investigators say a video of Cannell setting up the secret camera in his bathroom has allegedly been found on his cell phone.

“I have Mr. Cannell in a self-produced video in the same bathroom of himself panning and what appears to be him setting the camera up, and he himself alone was in that video,” Sgt. Holschbach reported. “I think it’s a six-second video.”

Authorities searched Cannell’s home and say they found eight recording devices in all, including a cell phone charging block.

“We recovered smoke alarms and we also recovered picture frames that had recording devices in them and alarm clocks that are secret recording devices,” Sgt. Holschbach said.

They say they do not know which device was used to record the 16-year-old in the bathroom on Aug. 8, but all videos were found in an app on Cannell’s phone.

“Without that app, we don’t know if those four videos would have even existed. Is that a fair statement?” Roach asked Sgt. Holschbach.

She responded, “That’s correct.”

The investigation into Cannell reportedly began back in April 2021.

Federal prosecutors told Local 5 that they were investigating Cannell in a Child Pornography File Sharing case.

While investigating that case, they discovered the videos he allegedly created of the 16-year-old girl in his home.

Prosecutors are no longer pursuing the original case Cannell was under investigation in.

The Federal Magistrate Judge overseeing the case found Probable Cause, which means the case will continue.

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