News and Press Releases


TUESDAY - February 9, 2010



RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced JOSEPH MICHAEL GUARASCIO, 45, of Wilmington, North Carolina, to 180 months’ imprisonment followed by a life term of supervised release.

A Criminal Information was filed by the United States Attorney’s Office on August 27, 2009. On September 29, 2009, GUARASCIO pled guilty to manufacturing child pornography.

On October 21, 2008, a 17-year-old reported that GUARASCIO, a former New York police officer, had sexually assaulted her as well as a 14-year-old. Deputies arrested GUARASCIO, seizing his Iphone. Forensic analysis of the phone revealed sexually explicit photographs of the 17-year-old. On October 30, 2008, a search warrant was obtained and executed on GUARASCIOs residence. His computer was seized and analysis of the computer found over 3,000 images of child pornography, which portrays sadistic or masochistic conduct.

Mr. Holding commented, “Any case involving the exploitation of children is a tragedy. This case is particularly troubling in that it involves a former law enforcement officer.”

This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wilmington Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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