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Catching child predators: Brillion man appears in court after private sting leads to arrest

Jesse Pool, 42, makes initial court appearance after being referred to police by predator catcher group.
Posted at 5:32 PM, Apr 29, 2024

CHILTON (NBC26) — Jesse Pool, 42, made his initial appearance in Calumet County court Monday for multiple felony charges related to child sex crimes.

  • Pool made his initial appearance in Calumet County court on Monday.
  • Investigators say Pool planned to meet a 13-year-old at a Green Bay Walmart for sex.
  • Hear from the private group that organized a sting that led to Pool's arrest.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

A Brillion man charged with child sex crimes made his first court appearance here in Calumet County Court.

In court, Jesse Pool acknowledged the charges including using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.

Court records show he planned to meet a 13-year-old girl at a Green Bay Walmart for sexual interaction, but records reveal it was a setup, the girl a decoy, created by nonprofit Predator Catchers of Indianapolis.

Video shows a duo dedicated to catching child predators in your neighborhood. The video features their encounter with Pool at Walmart which led to his arrest.

"We're definitely not superheroes, we're just concerned citizens who are passionate," Courtney Elizxbeth said.

Elizxbeth and her business partner, Chris, work with Predator Catchers on occasion.

The two have a YouTube channeldedicated to stopping child predators.

"It's really rewarding letting the neighborhood know who was lurking around," Elizxbeth said.

Based in Madison, they say they've made close to 100 catches nationwide — creating decoys or setting up sting houses.

Tactics, police tell me, they don't support.

Green Bay Police said in a statement:

"The Green Bay Police Department does not recommend taking legal action on your own due to the risk that it poses. Anytime that you’re aware of a suspicious situation, it is best to contact your local law enforcement agency and share any information that you have with them to aid in their investigative efforts."
Green Bay Police Department

Brillion Police Department also released a statement:

"In general, the point below is that a citizen or a group of individuals are not a Law Enforcement Officials. You have NO idea or would have any knowledge of the person(s) you would be cornering, if you will.

The danger to the person “cornering a potential suspect” is very real. As Green Bay PD stated notify the jurisdiction of the situation, provide that jurisdiction with the information obtained and let Law Enforcement investigate."
Brillion Police Department

"I wouldn't even recommend, you know the people that watch my videos on YouTube or Facebook, I wouldn't recommend them doing this," Elizxbeth said.

Last month, we went Pool's house on our ownto give him the chance to answer to the charges, but he wouldn't speak to us.

Courtney Elizxbeth said she plans is to give presentations at schools on child sex offender awareness and the dangers of social media in child sex crimes.

Pool's next court appearance will be on May 10.