Update: 4:18 p.m.
Diego Fasolini – the GW professor arrested last week for possession of child pornography – is facing up to 40 years in jail, after police found more than 100,000 images of young children on his personal external hard drive, court documents reveal.
On Oct. 22, Fasolini, 42, asked a GW technical support analyst to back up the contents of an old external hard drive onto a new one. Three days later, the analyst attempted to open one or two files on the new hard drive to make sure the transfer was successful – a routine procedure – and found a file on the drive which contained an image of a young girl between the ages of 4 to 8 years having sexual intercourse with an adult male.
The analyst alerted Metropolitan Police to the incident, University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said. On Oct. 26, Metropolitan Police Department Detective Timothy Palchak interviewed Fasolini at the University Police Department office, where Fasolini told him he had images of adult pornography and possibly “younger porn,” according to court documents.
Palchak obtained a search warrant Oct. 28, which uncovered more than 100,000 videos and images in subfolders, including pictures of young children duct-taped and bound, according to court documents. The documents depicted graphic descriptions of children as young as 3 years old being sexually abused.
Fasolini appeared in court Friday, where a judge ordered he remain in custody pending a detention hearing and preliminary hearing. The hearing will take place in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Tuesday afternoon at 1:45 p.m.
He is currently suspended from the University pending an investigation into the incident, Sherrard said last week.
According to Connect2Mason, George Mason University’s online student news outlet, Fasolini was also an Italian lecturer at GMU.