So said Ottawa County investigators, who with help from a Toledo crime lab determined Carroll Township police Officer William Windnagel’s collection of pornographic images is legal.
Township officials suspended Windnagel, 56, without pay about two months ago, after a domestic violence incident involving a woman who was upset about his porn collection, according to an Ottawa County deputy’s report. While Windnagel was charged with domestic violence in the incident, the woman also provided Windnagel’s USB drive to deputies, who sent the electronic device to a Toledo crime lab for analysis.
End result: The photos showed adults portraying children, Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick said.
“Adult pornography is legal,” Levorchick said. “He has not violated a crime”
Ottawa County Sheriff’s Detective Amanda Cross, who investigated the case, said Windnagel did not take the photographs himself; he downloaded them from an assortment of legal websites.
“Whatever program (Toledo’s computer analysis team) uses, it determines what is legal, what’s illegal,” Cross said.
The case was investigated for about two months because of the nature of the photographs.
“He had over 100,” Cross said. “Some were of an adult wearing a schoolgirl uniform, others had girls holding a teddy bear”
Windnagel’s porn collection was stored on a USB drive, as well as about a dozen discs and three computers, deputies said.
Levorchick said any charges for the porn collection are unlikely.
The incident began shortly after the woman — Windnagel’s girlfriend at the time — posted a comment on Facebook, along the lines of, “You truly don’t know someone ’til they live with you” according to a deputy’s report.
Following the online post, Windnagel allegedly held the woman on a couch in her home, also creating red marks on her arm, according to the report. The woman ran outside, partially clothed and crying hysterically when police responded to the scene.
During the incident, Windnagel allegedly demanded the woman reveal who she told about his pornography collection, the report states.
Windnagel, of the 8000 block of Titus Road in Oak Harbor, has been a Carroll Township police officer since 2011, earning about $16.50 an hour as a part-timer.
Shortly after the incident, Carroll Township police Chief Jody Hatfield said it was all unexpected.
“I was very surprised when I heard about it,” Hatfield said. “William was a very dedicated officer, and we’ve never had any problems like this in the past”
Township dispatchers said Windnagel is still on unpaid leave, and his future with the department remains unclear.
The Ottawa County Courthouse was closed Wednesday, so a copy of the final investigative report was not immediately available.