Published January 14, 2015
Racine's former mayor could find out this week when he'll face trial on charges stemming from an Internet sex sting.
Fifty-two-year-old Gary Becker is accused of trying to arrange a sexual tryst with someone he thought was a juvenile girl. He has a status conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
Becker resigned as mayor on Jan. 20, five days after he was charged with multiple felonies. The criminal complaint says he was arrested in a sting operation after chatting online with a state agent posing as a 14-year-old girl.
The charges include possession of child pornography and misconduct in office.
A judge in August denied Becker's request for a change of venue. Becker's attorney had argued that pretrial publicity had prejudiced Becker's right to a fair and impartial jury.
Becker, who is married and has two children, was elected mayor in 2003 and ran unopposed for re-election in 2007. The Democrat had previously served two terms as a city alderman.
The investigation by the state Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation started after city workers who helped Becker fix a problem with his personal computer found pornography files on it and alerted Racine police, the complaint said. Police had passed the case on to state investigators to avoid a conflict of interest.