Former Hortonville Village Administrator Patrick Vaile, age 60, was charged Wednesday with 16 counts of possession of child pornography.
Vaile, who has served as administrator since 2011, was arrested after a sting by the state Division of Criminal Investigations. He resigned his position after his arrest.
On Monday, Feb. 9, special agents received a cypbertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding allegations against Vaile.
The tip indicated prior allegations against him from Shawano County and his current expressed interest in activities involving children.
The village board approved a three-year contract for him to remain as village administrator, despite a letter from a person in Shawano County who raised concerns about Vaile being hired.
On Tuesday, Feb. 10, special agents from DCI and a Department of Corrections computer analyst met with Vaile at his home at 200 Lake Shore Drive, Hortonville.
Agents were allowed to enter the home and search the residence and Vaile’s computer.
A special agent reported that Vaile initially said he would allow agents to search his computer but he then observed Vaile remove a flash drive from that computer.
Ultimately, agents were given consent to search the flash drive.
According to the criminal complaint, during the search of the flash drive, and the associated computer, DCI analysts located 169 images of child pornography.
A special agent reported that 16 images on the flash drive were sexually explicit and included images of a pre-pubescent girl with her hands duct taped to her ankles.
During the interview, Vaile admitted to viewing and saving images of nude children. He further stated that he typically saved images of children between 12 and 16 years old, but has seen images of children under 1 year old.
According to the criminal complaint, Vaile said he thought he had over 1,000 total images with no videos. He said he tried to stop viewing the images but did not.
Vaile stated that he preferred children ages 13 to 14 and admitted that he liked adult pornography usually with women who had small breasts. the complaint says.
He also said he recalled a time while working at the Hortonville administrative office when he felt an attraction towards a female child age 12-14 whom as at the Municipal Building/Library.
Vaile stated he would not act on any sexual attraction he had toward a child.
According to the criminal complaint, agents located a box in Vaile’s bedroom that contained printed images of children, as well as a box of the same located in the garage.
Outagamie County Court Commissioner Brian Figy set a cash bail at $75,000.
Vaile is scheduled to appear in Outagamie County Court again on Feb. 19.
Possession of child pornography is a Class D felony. Vaile faces up to 25 years in prison on each count if convicted.