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Press Release

Florida Man Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison For Downloading Child Pornography From A Grocery Store Parking Lot

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore has sentenced Robert Sciolino (51, Bradenton) to 10 years in federal prison for receipt and possession of child pornography. The court also ordered Sciolino to pay $57,000 in restitution to the victims and forfeit six electronic devices that he used in the commission of the offense.

Sciolino had pleaded guilty on March 22, 2019.

According to court documents, in June 2014, undercover detectives from New Zealand downloaded multiple files depicting child pornography from Sciolino’s residence. Law enforcement later executed a search warrant at Sciolino’s residence, and recovered two computers and two flash drives. A forensic analysis of the devices revealed 354 images and 619 videos of child pornography. Some of the images and videos depicted children as young as three years old being sexually abused.  

Between December 2015 and January 2016, undercover FBI agents downloaded multiple files depicting child pornography from a user that was connecting to the internet via unsecured wireless routers, within a 10-mile radius in Sarasota County, Florida. On February 1, 2016, FBI agents, working alongside detectives from the Bradenton Police Department, tracked this user to a grocery store parking lot in Bradenton. At approximately 9:00 p.m., Sciolino was found at the parking lot while he was actively downloading child pornography from his car. A forensic analysis of the devices recovered from Sciolino’s car revealed 1,539 images and 81 videos of child pornography.

“This sentence is the embodiment of unremitting efforts of detectives and agents at the local, federal, and international level to prevent the exploitation and victimization of children,” said Special Agent Dan Ward, FBI Child Exploitation Task Force coordinator in Fort Myers.

This case was investigated by the Bradenton Police Department, the FBI, and the New Zealand Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Diego F. Novaes and Lisa M. Thelwell.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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 locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated June 11, 2019

Project Safe Childhood