Thursday, July 4, 2013

CT - Details Emerge in Fed Case Against Ex-Cop (Samuel DiProto) Charged With Child Porn Possession

Ex-officer Samuel DiProto
Samuel DiProto
Original Article

07/02/2013

By Cassandra Day

Federal criminal court records detail photographs purportedly depicting the "bondage" of a clothed 6- to 7-year-old girl taken in the former Middletown police officer's Cromwell home.

Federal authorities have released more damning evidence against the the retired Middletown Police officer charged with possession of child pornography and inappropriate contact with a minor.

Samuel DiProto, 61, of Cromwell is being held in federal custody, according to Thomas Carson of the U.S. attorney's office at an undisclosed location.

Federal criminal court records detail photographs purportedly depicting the "bondage" of a clothed 6- to 7-year-old girl "hogtied and gagged" and others in which she's tied in four-point restraints and crying.

In late May, DiProto's $1M bond was revoked by the court.

The U.S. District Court of Connecticut ruled he "poses a significant danger to the community, particularly children," after he was arrested on May 7 and charged by the federal government with possession of child pornography and again on May 24 for risk of injury to a minor, cruelty to persons, first-degree unlawful restraint and first-degree reckless endangerment, according to court documents.

These latest charges, according to a press release from Connecticut State Police, arose from evidence seized from his Cromwell home, the town where his wife has served as the longtime town clerk.

The criminal complaint alleges that on March 12, 2013, and April 10, 2013, a Connecticut State Police detective assigned to the Computer Crimes Unit logged onto a publicly available Internet file sharing network and downloaded images and videos of child pornography from a computer connected to the network with an Internet Protocol address assigned to DiProto.

At a May 13 detention hearing, DiProto was released on a $250,000 surety bond co-signed by family members on conditions including home confinement. At the time, the government had no evidence that the defendant had ever abused or harmed a minor, according to court documents.

On May 16, additional computer files, including a digital camera memory card and seven thumb drives were found at DiProto's home.

"A review of the photos taken during the May 7 search revealed that the bed depicted in the bondage photos is the same bed that is in the master bedroom of the Cromwell residence," according to the affidavit.

The feds also found a rope that appears to be the same one used in the photographs in the master bedroom closet, similar bedding, and a Pentax Optio P70, according to the court documents.

"The metadata from the photos indicate they were taken with a Pentax Optio P70 digital camera," the affidavit reads. "A review of the photos taken during the May 7 search revealed that the bed depicted in the bondage photos is the same bed that is in the master bedroom of the Cromwell residence."

On May 23, law enforcement identified the victim in the photos. Her father testified DiProto told him, after his May 7 arrest, "he had tied up the minor victim to teach her a lesson about the danger of playing with ropes" in mid-April 2013, the report details.

His probable cause hearing in federal court is scheduled for Aug. 26.


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