Investigation into Racine sheriff’s deputy leads to arrest of second official

Federal distribution of child pornography charges filed against Outagamie County HR director

Scales Of Justice
Cal Injury Lawyer (CC-BY)

An investigation into a Racine County Sheriff’s deputy charged with possession of child pornography has led to the arrest of another Wisconsin community official.

Adam Westbrook, most recently the Outagamie County human resources director, is facing federal charges for distributing child pornography. Westbrook was arrested Feb. 16. Initially charged in state court in Sauk County, those charges were dismissed Wednesday. A federal grand jury indictment was filed the same day.

Defense attorney Nathan Otis said Westbrook had his initial appearance in federal court Thursday. Westbrook entered a not guilty plea.

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“These are very serious allegations. They are allegations he denies,” Otis said.

Westbrook’s charges are tied to those filed against a Racine County Deputy earlier this month.

A citizen’s complaint led to the arrest of Racine Deputy Preston Kite. A man called 911 to report Kite for lewd conduct in a gas station bathroom. The man said Kite, who was on duty and in uniform, had exposed himself.

A detective investigating that allegation was searching Kite’s phone, which the deputy turned over to investigators, when he discovered it had been used to share child pornography.

Kite was charged in Racine County Circuit Court on Feb. 8. He is charged with six felonies, including possession of child pornography and child exploitation. The deputy is being held on a $150,000 bond in Kenosha County Jail. According to court records, Kite does not yet have an attorney.

The criminal complaint in Kite’s case alleges that Kite was sharing sexually explicit videos with another person of children being sexually abused. The person in the message exchange included in the complaint is not identified by name, but has different initials than Westbrook.

According to the complaint against Kite, the images cited in the criminal charges were being shared through an encrypted messaging service called Session. That company describes itself online as “a messenger that minimizes sensitive metadata, designed and built for people who want absolute privacy and freedom from any form of surveillance.” 

The investigation into Kite’s actions also led investigators to Westbrook. According to the criminal complaint in the now-dismissed state case against Westbrook, he is alleged to have taken sexually explicit images of a child at a hotel in Lake Delton and shared them with Kite over the messaging platform Snapchat.

Law enforcement, including detectives from Kenosha County, served a warrant on Westbrook’s home in Neenah as part of their investigation.

Westbrook, 35, resigned from his job as human resources director in Outagamie County after his arrest, according to The Post-Crescent newspaper. 

According to his LinkedIn account, Westbrook had been with the county for about six months. Over the last seven years, he worked as the human resources director of the city of Sheboygan, as the human resources director for the education cooperative CESA 6 in Oshkosh, as the city attorney for Neenah, and as a prosecutor in Milwaukee County. He’s a graduate of Marquette University Law School and according to the state criminal complaint, initially met Kite at the university.

Westbrook also worked as a volunteer in community and school theater productions.

Defense attorney Otis said Westbrook remains in federal custody. He said he expects a hearing date in the coming weeks where he will ask that Westbrook be released while his case is pending.

Kite is next expected to appear in court March 7 for a status hearing.