Former Phelps janitor in court - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Former Phelps janitor charged


VILAS COUNTY (WAOW) -- Charges have been filed against a former Phelps School District janitor.

According to online court records, Richard Buell now faces 10 felony charges of "possession of child pornography."

He remains in Vilas County jail on a  $10,000 cash bond/

Buell was arrested Monday. Investigators had recommended 78 felony counts of possessing child pornography.

According to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office, the arrest came after a tip in February from the Phelps School District of an employee looking up pornographic web sites.

"Deputies recovered some evidence, identified who they thought might be responsible," said Chief Deputy Joseph Fath.

Sheriff's investigators tell us that information from the school network was sent to the state crime lab.

"We do not have the equipment or expertise to conduct that analysis so we rely on the crime lab," explained Fath.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Buell worked for the district as a custodian. But, he no longer works there. Sheriff's officials say they believe this is an isolated incident and students and faculty are safe.

"At this time nothing has involved any of the students and the students are safe. We've been working since the initial report with the school district to ensure that all of the students in the district are safe and that has been accomplished," said Fath.

Newsline 9 spoke with the Phelps district administrator. She did not want to go on camera while the investigation is still open. But, she did say that Buell was fired as soon as the investigation began.

"It's important for everyone when kids get sent to school they're safe and their privacy is protected," said Fath.

Authorities say Buell is scheduled to be back in court Friday. He does not have an attorney listed.

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