A Gainesville man was arrested after police said he downloaded one photo and nine videos of child pornography.
Robert Thomas Picarello, 55, was arrested at about 11 a.m. on Tuesday in his home in Madison Pointe Apartments after police found an image and multiple videos of child ponography on a hard drive in his bedroom, according to an Gainesville Police report.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from Chatstep, a website that allows users to create online chat rooms, on Nov. 10, 2017, to instigate someone with a username of “Nancy” and a chat room called “HolidaySeason,” according to the report. The tip also included a photo suspected to be child pornography.
Police determined that the image was uploaded on Nov. 10, 2017, using a computer with an IP address from a Cox Communications internet plan belonging to Picarello’s wife, according to the report.
Five months later, police searched Picarello’s home with a warrant and found the Samsung solid state drive where the photos were downloaded in a dresser in his bedroom, according to the report. He refused to speak to police without a lawyer present after his arrest.
Picarello was arrested on nine counts of possession of a photograph of a sexual act performed by a child and taken to the Alachua County Jail where he remains, as of press time, in lieu of a $300,000 bond.