5 years for child porn
Giovanni Canapino, 20, pleads guilty to having such images
A former assistant youth soccer referee was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison and eight years on supervised release for possessing child pornography on his computer and compact discs.
Giovanni L. Canapino, 20, of Kapolei pleaded guilty in January to an indictment without a plea agreement. He was among 27 people charged internationally in March 2006 -- the result of a 10-month investigation announced by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales -- for distributing child pornography through a computer program, WinMx, that allowed file sharing on the Internet.
While the sentence was under the sentencing guideline range of 97 to 120 months, U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright noted, "The picture is clear he has an extremely deviant interest in minor males."
Canapino was ordered to undergo sex offender assessment and treatment. He also must register as a sex offender.
Assistant Federal Defender Pamela Byrne argued for a sentence substantially under the guidelines because of Canapino's youth and lack of prior criminal history.
In a letter he wrote to the court, Canapino indicated his desire to be "normal and rehabilitated," Byrne said.
Canapino apologized yesterday to the court, the community, his family and also to the children who were victimized in the photos and videos.
"I know what I did was wrong -- absolutely wrong," he told the court. He also said he hoped to continue in outpatient treatment even after he is released, further his education, get a job and do his best to contribute to society.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Tong disputed the defense's characterization of Canapino's conduct as a "downloading offense," noting that each child is victimized each time a photo is taken, each time that photo or image is used and also when it is shared over the Internet.
"The victimization lasts long after the child becomes an adult -- it's a permanent thing," Tong argued.
Canapino was part of an international group of people who were devoted exclusively to victimizing and exploiting people who are unable to protect themselves, Tong said.
During questioning by agents, Canapino admitted to storing child pornography on his computer, including a file that involved an adult male forcing anal sex on a 5-year-old boy.
During the investigation, special agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement determined that a person using the screen name "Geograns 763" was chatting with others and sharing a variety of files that indicated child pornography.
Among the conversations captured during their investigation was one where "Geograns 763" indicated he was "horny as hell" after refereeing a boy's soccer game, that he liked boys and wanted to have oral sex with them. "Geograns 763" was traced to Canapino's family, and Canapino admitted to using the chat room.
Even more disturbing, Tong said, was that at age 19, when he was arrested, Canapino confirmed he was a pedophile, that he had an interest in underage boys and had acted on it.
He admitted to having sexual contact with two boys, ages 10 and 12. He told agents he "French kissed" one of the boys and had touched both boys on their genitals through their clothing, but denied having any sexual intercourse.
He also denied having sexual contact with any of the boys that he refereed at soccer games.