Rock County Courthouse

The Rock County Courthouse

JANESVILLE—A Town of Rock man originally charged with over two dozen counts of possession of child pornography has avoided incarceration, and pleaded to lesser charges in the case following a plea agreement with the Rock County District Attorney’s Office, according to court records.

Christopher W. Needham, 36, pleaded guilty on Monday to amended charges of two counts of possession of an intimate representation without consent. As part of the plea agreement, Needham was sentenced to three years of probation and he is not required to register as a sex offender following the conviction, court records show.

Needham originally faced 26 counts of possession of child pornography which were filed in November of 2019 following an investigation by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s office investigators executed a search warrant at Needham’s Town of Rock residence in October of 2018.

During the investigation, a detective located a laptop computer belonging to Needham that allegedly contained 26 images of naked boys and girls engaged in sexual acts ranging in ages of 4 to 12 years old, according to the criminal complaint.

But Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary said Tuesday there were “issues with proof in the case” that were outlined at sentencing.

O’Leary said another complicating factor in the case was Needham’s role as a witness in a former roommate’s child sexual assault case from September of 2017. Two charges of second-degree sexual assault of a child as a repeater were dropped, but read into the record on Sept. 17, 2020 against Eric. M. Mongeon, 36, now of Beloit.