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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Girls Softball Coach Arraigned On Child Pornography Charges

ATLANTA - Nicholas Mazza, who worked as a girls softball coach in Cobb County, Ga., has been arraigned on federal charges of distributing and possessing child pornography.  Mazza was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 9, 2014.

“The victimization of children is one of the most heinous and despicable crimes imaginable,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “Distributing images of the sexual abuse of children on the Internet only compounds the harm done to the children.  We will continue to vigorously pursue and prosecute those persons who collect and trade these images.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court:  In late October 2014, special agents of the Department of Homeland Security were monitoring a peer-to-peer program to identify individuals who were making child pornography available for others to download onto their computers.  A peer-to-peer program allows users to share digital files directly with other persons who use the same program.  The agents found that the defendant had child pornography videos available on his computer.  After determining that this activity was occurring from his house in Powder Springs, Ga., they obtained a federal search warrant and executed it at the defendant's home on November 6, 2014.  They found a computer and hard drive that contained thousands of images and videos of young girls being sexually abused. 

Mazza, 66, of Powder Springs, Ga., was arrested on November 7, 2014.  Prior to his arrest, he worked as a fast-pitch softball coach at “GeorgiaScout” in Cobb County for girls between the ages of 8 and 17 years.  He was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker. 

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul R. Jones is prosecuting the case.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood.  In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.

Updated April 8, 2015