News

Former UM professor arrested for child porn

Courtesy of Devereaux Sterrette of The GW Hatchet

Last month, a former UM Italian professor was arrested and charged in federal court for possession of child pornography. He was arrested in Washington, D.C., where he was currently teaching at George Washington University.

Diego Fasolini, who was a visiting professor at UM from 2008 to 2009, was caught with a hard drive that contained more than 100,000 videos and photographs of prepubescent children. Some of the images depicted children being duct taped and sexually abused.

Fasolini is being charged with twocounts of possession of child pornography, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison for each count.

On Oct. 18, Fasolini entered the Columbian College Office of Technology Services at GWU for a technical problem with his external hard drive.

Fasolini returned to the office on Oct. 25 to drop off his hard drive and requested that an employee back up his hard drive and restore the data to a new drive. Upon completion of the back-up, the technical support analyst opened up a couple of files to ensure they were valid and not corrupt. This is when the employee encountered the pornographic images, and notified the police.

Fasolini, 42, was arrested and held in prison since his arrest on Oct. 28 until last Friday, the date of his preliminary and detention hearing, when his attorney and the prosecution decided to try to resolve the case outside of trial.

“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, as reported by senior news editor Emily Cahn of The GW Hatchet.

Fasolini’s next court date is Dec. 10. Until then he will be electronically monitored. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay ruled that Fasolini is prohibited from using computers “for the purpose of downloading any child porn or porn otherwise.”

Fasolini is suspended from GWU pending the outcome of the case.

This incident is not the first that Fasolini has had with university police. As a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000, Fasolini, then 32, was charged with stealing a wallet from the school library and withdrawing $1,500 using an automatic teller machine.

“Fasolini pleaded guilty and prosecutors dropped the charges after he successfully completed a program for first-time offenders, according to court records in Wisconsin,” reported The Washington Examiner.

The Miami Hurricane reached out to several UM personnel for a comment; however, none offered a statement.

Rebecca Zimmer at the rzimmer@themiamihurricane.com.

November 17, 2010

Reporters

Rebecca Zimmer


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