WASHINGTON – A federal jury convicted a St. Croix, V.I., man of two counts of child pornography, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Jenkins for the District of the Virgin Islands, and Special Agent in Charge Manuel Oyola-Torres of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), announced today.
After five hours of deliberation, the 12-person jury in St. Croix convicted Charles Stephano, 67, of receiving and possessing over 500 images of child pornography. He is currently being held in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
The evidence presented at trial, which began Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2007, included testimony from 16 witnesses, including an employee of the computer repair shop where Stephano took his personal computer for repairs and a computer forensic examiner. The examiner found evidence that Stephano had knowingly obtained child pornography images from publicly available Internet websites and possessed them in the Internet cache of his computer. Printed images from some of the websites were discovered by law enforcement during their search of Stephano’s home. Two law enforcement officers personally identified two of the victims depicted in the more than 350 child pornography images received and possessed by Stephano.
Stephano faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years with a $250,000 fine and the possibility of lifetime supervised release. Stephano’s sentencing has been set for July 12, 2007.
This case was investigated by ICE agents in St. Croix. This case is being prosecuted by trial attorney Jill Trumbull-Harris of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Criminal Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Hinds of the District of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix office. The computer forensic examination and accompanying expert testimony were provided by Shannon Perkins of the High Technology Investigative Unit of the Criminal Division.