Sexually-explicit DVDs surface around River Falls
March 8, 2007
Concern among law enforcement officials and parents has heightened as sexually explicit pornographic DVDs have been surfacing at several locations in River Falls.
The DVDs have been found on or near the school grounds of Rocky Branch, Westside and Greenwood elementary schools, as well as Meyer Middle School. They have also been found at locations such as Mr. Movies and Bo Jon’s Flowers on Main Street.
“We started getting them back in December,” Jill Anderson, manager of Mr. Movies said.
According to River Falls Chief of Police Roger Leque and Anderson, the DVDs have titles similar to real movies, but with sexual connotations.
“The titles are like something we would carry here but with different wordings,” Anderson said.
There have been titles such as “Final Desecration 2,” “Load Trip,” and “Exorjism of Emily Rose.”
“The DVDs depict sexual acts,” Leque said.
Michelle Jensen, a freshman and employee at Mr. Movies, said a lot of people don’t know Mr. Movies is the first place the DVDs appeared, and the media hasn’t made the public aware.
School officials have cautioned parents and children about the DVDs that have been found on or near school grounds, but Jensen said she worries about other locations where they have been discovered.
“I think kids could find them in the parking lot and not realize these are the same ones they’ve been warned about,” Jensen said.
According to Wisconsin statute 948.11, exposing a child to harmful material is a felony, punishable by up to 3.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The last DVD finding was reported to police on Feb. 14, but Anderson said she feels the recent media coverage from outlets such as the River Falls Journal and WCCO-TV in the Twin Cities may have temporarily halted the events. However, she said she doesn’t think it’s over.
Leque said he and the police don’t know what the intention of the individual or individuals who are doing this is, but he and others like Anderson are concerned they may be targeting school-age children because of the titles of the DVDs, and their placement on or near school grounds.
Anderson found a DVD outside of Meyer Middle School, which she said raised her level of concern for children in the community, including her 13-year-old daughter who attends the school.
“What if my daughter picked that DVD up?” Anderson said.
Leque said the police are doing everything they can, and the DVDs have been sent to the Wisconsin State crime lab, with hopes of finding something that may link the movies to the individual or individuals responsible for these crimes.
“I wish this person would just screw up somehow so the cops could catch them,” Anderson said.
Leque said he hopes the media coverage will open the community’s eyes to the issue.
“Most of our success with solving crimes comes from information we get from citizens,” he said.
If anyone has information that may be helpful for the case, they are asked to contact the River Falls Police Department at (715) 425-0909 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-303-8477.