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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Worcester Man Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography

BOSTON – A Worcester man was arrested yesterday and charged with possession of child pornography.  

Kenneth Gianatasio, 40, was arrested and charged with one count of possession of child pornography. Gianatasio was detained pending a detention and probable cause hearing scheduled for Oct. 3, 2019.

As alleged in charging documents, on Aug.5, 2019, Gianatasio initiated a conversation with an undercover agent on Kik Messenger. During the conversation, Gianatasio allegedly requested to meet the agent in order to engage in sexual activity with the agent’s fictitious underage daughter. Gianatasio was subsequently interviewed by law enforcement and stated that he had used Kik to communicate with parents of underage girls in order to engage in sexual activity with the girls. A search of Gianatasio iPhone yielded multiple videos of child pornography.  

The charging statute provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Jason Molina, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lucy Sun of Lelling’s Worcester Branch Unit is prosecuting the case. 

The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated October 3, 2019