Court, professor look to settle child porn case without trial

Diego Fasolini – the part-time Italian-language professor arrested last month for possession of child pornography – was released from jail Friday, after his attorney and the prosecution vowed to resolve the case out of the courtroom.

Fasolini, 42, will be electronically monitored until his next court date Dec. 10, and is prohibited from using computers “for the purpose of downloading any child porn or porn otherwise,” Magistrate Judge Alan Kay ruled.

Kay told Fasolini that if Fasolini broke the conditions of his release, it would “conceivably have an impact on the end result” of the case.

It would be “ugly and fatuitous for you to in any way log onto any of those sites, which you now know are prohibited,” Kay told Fasolini during the hearings.

David Kent, the U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, asked the court to ban Fasolini from accessing the Internet at all, due to “the volume of images found” on Fasolini’s external hard drive last month. After a private consultation with the judge, Fasolini was told not to access pornography of any kind.

“While there is no technology that can guarantee a person with that condition doesn’t engage in the collection of child pornography, law enforcement does have methods that they employ in order to confirm that the person is abiding by that condition,” Cliff Keenan, deputy director of pretrial services, said.

Fasolini had been held in jail since his arrest Oct. 28, after police found more than 100,000 images of both adult and child pornography on Fasolini’s external hard drive.

“If a resolution can be reached that satisfies both parties, then it saves the time and expense of a trial. It just makes things easier,” Fasolini’s attorney Shawn Moore said after Friday’s hearing.

Moore did not specify what outcome he was seeking, saying it’s “a little early to go into much more detail.” Moore added, however, that it is not 100 percent certain that a deal will be reached outside of trial.

“All I can say is over the next couple of weeks. I’ll try and talk to defense and prosecution to see if there is a resolution,” Moore said.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, declined to comment on the case.

Fasolini is currently suspended from the University pending the outcome of the case.

Justin Kits contributed to this report.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.