A couple from Kenosha is facing child pornography charges after allegedly sharing sexual photos of children along with explicit messages, including messages about a child who is a member of the woman’s family.
Ryan D. Hunt, 43, and Jenna Dowdal, 34, both of Kenosha, were charged Tuesday.
Hunt was charged with sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography. Dowdal was charged with possession of child pornography. If convicted, the charges carry mandatory prison time.
According to the criminal complaints, police began investigating Hunt and Dowdal after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The investigation began after a Facebook message containing a pornographic image of a prepubescent girl was sent from Hunt’s Facebook account to Dowdal’s account.
The complaint states that after the image was exchanged, the couple — who do not live together — exchanged sexually explicit messages about the image.
On two other occasions, in a series of messages included in the criminal complaint, Hunt and Dowdal exchanged explicit messages in which Hunt and Dowdal have a sexually explicit conversation about a child who is a member of Dowdal’s family, including Hunt talking about wanting to have sex with her.
According to the complaint, Dowdal acknowledged to a special agent from the Wisconsin Department of Justice and a detective from the Kenosha Police Department that Hunt had sent her “more than five but less than 10” images of child pornography.
She acknowledged the explicit messages and said “she knew it was wrong and accepts responsibility for what she said” and indicated she would never do anything to children in her family or allow Hunt to do so.
The complaint states that Hunt told a detective he sent one image and then “his Facebook was shut down” and that he did not send images after that.
Search warrants were served on Hunt and Dowdal’s homes on Monday, and electronic devices were seized. Investigators are now examining the contents of those devices to determine if there are additional images.
Hunt’s bond was set at $25,000. He posted bond and was released.
Dowdal’s bond was set at $10,000. She remains in custody.