Fasolini pleads guilty in child porn case

A former part-time Italian language professor pled guilty to one count of possession of child pornography Wednesday morning.

Diego Fasolini, 43, admitted in court to knowingly possessing 600 or more images of child pornography and to having thousands of additional images stored on a hard drive.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kent, the attorney prosecuting the case, and Fasolini’s attorney Shawn Moore, told the judge Wednesday they struck a plea deal for a 36 to 48-month sentence.

District Judge Beryl A. Howell questioned the attorneys about this sentence term, as she read out loud a document outlining the plea agreement. Kent confirmed the government agreed to the 36-month sentence, but said it will ultimately be up to the court to decide the term of imprisonment.

The offense can carry a 10-year prison term and a $250,000 fine.

Fasolini will be deported after his sentence, according to the deal. Fasolini told the judge he was born in Italy.

“He understands that he will indeed be deported” after serving time, Moore said.

Fasolini was originally arrested in October, after a Columbian College Office of Technology Services employee found images of suspected child pornography on a hard drive which Fasolini submitted for technical support.

The FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force investigated the case along with members of Metropolitan Police Department.

“During the course of the investigation, law enforcement searched additional computer equipment, including items at Fasolini’s residence. Forensic analysis confirmed that Fasolini had collected more than 100,000 images of child pornography,” according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Fasolini’s conviction is an aggravated felony and requires him to register as a sex offender for at least 15 years.

The judge asked Kent to submit “justifiable reasons” for the plea arrangement and set a sentencing date for July 1.

This article was updated on April 15, 2011 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that a Student Technology Services employee found images of suspected child pornography on Fasolini’s hard drive. In fact, it was an employee of the Columbian College Office of Technology Services who found the images.

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