gavel

EAU CLAIRE — An Altoona man who has been affiliated with two area churches will spend 48 years in prison for sexually assaulting a young girl, taking sexually related images of a second girl and possessing numerous images of child pornography.

Bryan J. Broughton, 39, 1308 Devney Drive, was sentenced this week in Eau Claire County Court to felony counts of repeated sexual assault of a child and attempted child sexual exploitation by filming, and two felony counts of possession of child pornography.

Judge Sarah Harless ordered Broughton to spend 25 years on extended supervision following his release from prison. As conditions of supervision, Broughton cannot have contact with the victims or their families, and he must register as a sex offender.

Broughton worked with children’s ministry and had been a church camp counselor in the two churches he had been affiliated with for 19 years — Wesleyan Church and Red Cedar Church.

According to the criminal complaint:

An Eau Claire County sheriff’s deputy went to a town of Seymour home on Sept. 29, 2019, to take a family’s report of past sexual assault.

A girl, who is now 13, said that Broughton had touched her pubic area multiple times going back to when she was 6 years old. She described multiple occasions of this happening and said she’s now suffering from depression and paranoia as a result.

After he was arrested, Broughton admitted to touching that girl and a second prepubescent girl on multiple occasions. He also told police they would find child pornography on his electronic devices, which were confiscated using a search warrant.

Authorities found 2,494 images of suspected child pornography on Broughton’s tablet. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified the children in 26 of the images.

Authorities also reviewed the stored images on Broughton’s cellphone. The images included a video of the second girl with the thumb of Broughton’s hand inside the girl’s underwear.

Broughton told authorities that his sexual preference for children is for those between the ages of 6 and 11. Once children hit puberty, Broughton said, he is no longer interested in them.

Broughton told authorities the thrill for him is “if he can do it” and “not get caught,” and if he could “actually get away with it.”

Broughton described it as a “gambler’s attitude, either go big or bust.”

Contact: 715-833-9207, dan.holtz@ecpc.com