Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lawyers interested in striking deal in porn case; man faces up to 20 years in prison, $250K fine

A Happy Valley man indicted on child pornography charges and who reportedly expressed an interest in torturing and eating children may never get to trial.

Attorneys in the federal child porn case are reviewing computer evidence with an interest in negotiating a resolution to avoid going to trial, according to court documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Jason B. Scarcello
Jason B. Scarcello
A status conference scheduled Friday for Jason B. Scarcello, 42, was put off until Jan. 11 at the request of both the prosecutor and defense attorney, a spokeswoman with the U.S. attorney's office said.

If convicted, Scarcello, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, faces five to 20 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine.

He was arrested in July after federal agents executed a search warrant at his Happy Valley residence and discovered CDs and DVDs containing violent and sexually explicit images and videos of children.

Authorities also have said he engaged in online chats in which he discussed torturing and eating children.

Scarcello's attorney, Thomas A. Johnson, has admitted the chats were "disturbing and bizarre," but claims that they were also only fantasy, not reality.

Scarcello was one of 43 people arrested as part of an international child pornography investigation after authorities said they found violent child pornography on his computers.

According to a search warrant affidavit, suspicions about Scarcello arose after investigators determined he had engaged in computer chats with a previously charged suspect in Kansas, Michael Arnett.

From August 2010 through March, Scarcello and Arnett allegedly discussed the abuse of child victims via computer chats.

According to the indictment, Scarcello also used a file-sharing program between April and June to download movies depicting the sexual exploitation of children.

Porn stopped
He was indicted and charged with receipt of child pornography. The case is part of an ongoing Homeland Security-led investigation that originated in Boston and spread worldwide. So far the investigation has resulted in the arrest of 43 people and the rescue of 140 children.

Scarcello remains in Sacramento County jail without bail.

By Jim Schultz

Source: The Record-Searchlight


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