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72-year-old Virginia Beach man sentenced to 20 years on child porn charges

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Posted at 2:38 PM, Mar 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-11 14:38:31-04
Frederick Avitto

Frederick Avitto

Virginia Beach, Va. – A Virginia Beach man has been sentenced to 20 years on child porn charges.

72-year-old Frederick Avitto pleaded guilty Wednesday to ten counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of distribution of child pornography.

Virginia Beach Circuit Court Judge Steven C. Frucci imposed a sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment with 6 years and six months of active incarceration and 13 years and six months suspended.

Upon his release, Avitto will be placed on supervised probation indefinitely and will be required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction in which he lives or works. Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring made the announcement after his Computer Crimes Section successfully prosecuted Avitto.

“Through his distribution of this heinous material, the defendant perpetrated the cycle of abuse and exploitation experienced by these child victims,” said Attorney General Herring. “I am pleased with the strong sentence in this case and want to thank the law enforcement agencies that work tirelessly to apprehend child predators across Virginia. My office will continue to partner with agencies across Virginia to hold these criminals accountable and prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law.”

Court documents show Avitto was identified through an investigation into child pornography over peer-to-peer networks on the Internet by special agents from the Virginia State Police associated with the Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Agents working undercover discovered an individual distributing and possessing numerous child pornography images and videos. The agents were able to download several of these files directly from the individual’s computer and subsequently tracked the location of the computer to Avitto’s residence in Virginia Beach.

Based on this information, agents executed a search warrant at his residence, where they seized computer equipment and media.

During the search, Avitto stated that he had purposefully searched for and viewed pornographic images and videos of children, and was aware that his computer was making these files available for others to download. A subsequent forensic examination of the computers seized during the search confirmed that Avitto had downloaded and saved over 1,200 images and videos depicting children, including prepubescent victims, being sexually abused.