Plea deal delayed in child porn case

A U.S. judge granted attorneys an extension to resolve the case of Diego Fasolini, a former professor arrested last year for possession of child pornography.

Fasolini’s attorney Shawn Moore said in court Monday that he and prosecutor David Kent have a framework in place for a plea deal, but more time is needed for the government to copy information from a computer drive seized from Fasolini in October.

Magistrate Judge Alan Kay gave Fasolini, 42, a new status hearing set for March 29.

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 Columbian College Office of Technology Services for repair.

Kent, who wasn’t present at last month’s status hearing, had another attorney standing in for him again Monday.

Moore said after the hearing his goal is to resolve the case before the end of March.

“We’ll see. We’re inching toward a resolution,” Moore said.

Moore declined to comment on the details of the plea deal.

The parties have been working to resolve the case since November with at least one status hearing each month, resulting in another extension to continue working on a deal.

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Bill Miller said he was unable to comment on the case, but said as a general rule the attorney’s office is required to share evidence with the defense as the parties prepare cases for trial.

Fasolini has lived under electronic surveillance since his release from jail Nov. 12. Another condition of his release bans him from accessing “child porn or porn of any kind.”

Kay said Monday the court wouldn’t modify the conditions of Fasolini’s bond status.

Fasolini’s employment with the University ended at the end of the fall 2010 semester.

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