A bail hearing was held on January 30 for Randal Shelstad of Chokio in regard to charges he is facing about possessing pornographic work depicting a minor under 14. Judge Wilcox listened as County Attorney Aaron Jordan presented the reasons he was asking for a $50,000 conditional bail to be set.
In response to that request, Anthony Bussa, lawyer for Shelstad, asked for a lesser amount indicating that his client had fully cooperated with investigators who executed a search warrant for child pornography.
The charges were made after the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension received information from CyberTipline Reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They provided evidence that Randal Scott Shelstad, age 30, was in possession of child pornography.
Special Agent Nathaniel Brovold and Deputy Damon Curfman went to Shelstad’s employer in Morris and talked to him. Brovold presented a search warrant and explained that he was not under arrest but explained the nature of the investigation.
An interview was conducted in the conference room at his place of employment. Shelstad admitted that he had been viewing sexually explicit material involving children from an Android device at his home, and that he currently had his cell phone in his possession. He told the officers where the Android device was charging and provided them with the phone he had with him.
Shelstad also admitted that he had an external hard drive in a dresser drawer in the basement. He stated the hard drive likely contained child pornography and stated that he has possessed the device for several years. He told the investigators that he communicated with others online who share an interest in child pornography.
On October 18, 2022, BCA Agents and deputies went to the defendant’s residence in Chokio to execute the search warrant. Items were previewed on-scene and left at the residence. One of the items that was retained by the BCA is a black Motorola Droid cell phone that was located in the basement. The cell phone Shelstad had on him was also retained. The result of the investigation was 10 counts of possession of pornographic work of a minor under 14.
After listening to both attorneys on January 30, Judge Wilcox granted $25,000 bail with conditions. Those conditions include no contact with a person under 18, no presence on school property, not to view pornography of any kind, install special software on his devices, continue with treatment, keep in contact with officers about any address changes and not to possess a firearm.
The next court date is the omnibus hearing scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on March 13, 2023.