• Last modified 249 days ago (Sept. 20, 2023)


Ex-cop faces 21 additional child pornography charges

Staff writer

Former Burns police chief Joel Womochil, 38, El Dorado, already charged with 13 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, was charged last week with 21 additional counts.

Added to the original charges in Butler County were 10 counts of aggravated internet trading in child pornography and 11 additional counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

A Butler County jailer at the time he was arrested, Womochil remains in the Sedgwick County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bail.

According to a complaint issued in the case, Womochil had brief videos on his computer that showed children who appeared to be younger than 10 years old — some as young as infants —engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Womochil was a Marion County deputy from March 2020 until November 2022. He resigned Aug. 8 as police chief for Burns. The complaint shows that he was in possession of the videos from Aug. 9 to Aug. 25.

“I find it necessary to step down at this juncture,” Womochil wrote in a resignation letter he handed to Burns city council members Aug. 8 and read aloud. “Recent events have made me reflect on my responsibilities as a leader and the impact my decisions have on the lives of others.”

El Dorado police department, where Womochil’s girlfriend, Kaitlin Brunner, works, is the lead investigating agency.

Brunner is a former Peabody police officer who resigned in November, 2022, after Peabody’s mayor told former chief Bruce Burke to clean up drug houses no matter whether the means were legal or illegal.

Last modified Sept. 20, 2023