U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that GIORGIO COSENZA, age 29, of Gretna, pled guilty today to a one-count Bill of Information charging him with distribution of images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children.
According to court documents, on April 14, 2016, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at COSENZA’s residence. Agents obtained the search warrant after observing a posting he authored on a New Orleans-based online classified advertisement website and engaging him in email correspondence. During the email correspondence, COSENZA told a special agent of the FBI, acting in an undercover capacity, that he collected images and videos of children being sexually exploited.
During the execution of the search warrant, special agents with the FBI seized numerous electronic items including one laptop computer and one smartphone that contained images and videos of child pornography. A forensic examination of the device revealed that COSENZA used the devices to search for, download, and save images and videos of children as young as approximately three years old engaging being sexually victimized. The forensic examination located approximately 740 images and 30 videos of prepubescent children engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The contents of his devices also revealed that COSENZA had taken, saved, and subsequently distributed, sexually images of an approximately fourteen-year-old female with whom he stated he had engaged in sexual intercourse years earlier. Further, COSENZA engaged in text-based correspondence in 2014 and 2015 in which he distributed numerous sexually explicit images of children and, further, expressed an interest in engaging in sexual activity with minors between the ages of six and fourteen years old.
Based on the information contained within COSENZA’S smartphone, agents obtained a search warrant for the contents of his email account. The results of the search warrant revealed the COSENZA had received and distributed additional images depicting the sexual victimization of children.
COSENZA faces a mandatory minimum of five years imprisonment and a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty years, followed by up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine per count. He can also be required to register as a sex offender. U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt set sentencing for April 6, 2017.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys= Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution.