Attorneys hope to settle child porn case by month’s end

Correction appended

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Diego Fasolini failed to reach a resolution in court Tuesday on the part-time Italian-language professor’s October arrest for possession of child pornography.

Fasolini, 42, his attorney, Shawn Moore, and the U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, David Kent, were granted an extension to the end of the month to strike a plea deal.

The attorneys have worked to settle the case without a trial since November, but Magistrate Judge Alan Kay granted a further extension to settle contentions over property Tuesday.

Moore said in court that he and Kent – who was not present at Tuesday’s hearing – hope to have the case resolved before the next hearing date Feb. 28. The Feb. 28 extension, however, is not a hard deadline and could be extended further if the parties request more time, and the judge agrees.

“We pretty much have the essentials of a disposition,” Moore told the judge.

Moore said there was still discussion about property being returned to Fasolini, but he didn’t comment further on what the property was or other aspects of the plea deal.

Fasolini said little in court, except to answer yes when the judge asked him if he understood the request to give the government more time on the case.

After the hearing, Moore declined to comment on what outcome he’d like to see from the case.

“We want to resolve the case short of going to trial,” he said.

U.S. Attorney spokesman Bill Miller said he was unable to comment on the case.

Fasolini was arrested in October of last year after police found more than 100,000 images of child pornography on an external hard drive the professor gave to Student Technology Services for repair.

Fasolini will continue to live under electronic surveillance, which he has been living under since his release from jail Nov. 12. Another condition of his release bans him from accessing “child porn or porn of any kind.”

In December, Moore said a plea deal will benefit Fasolini, since the Italian-national would “likely lose” if the case went to trial.

Fasolini is no longer employed at the University.

“Fasolini’s appointment with the University ended at the end of the fall semester,” University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said.

This article has been updated on Feb. 3, 2011 to reflect the following changes:
Bill Miller was identified as a U.S. attorney. This is incorrect, he is a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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