Manchester man, 69, charged with possessing child porn

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BENNINGTON — A Manchester man has pleaded not guilty to possessing child pornography, which police said was found on his laptop.

Dennis Marchetti, 69, is charged in state court with six counts of possessing child pornography. Each felony count is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Court documents show that police preliminarily found six videos containing child pornography on Marchetti's laptop following a search of his house May 22. A detective with the Manchester Police Department applied for a warrant to search the residence after receiving cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

During an interview that preceded the search, Marchetti told police he had saved nude images of girls from the internet on his laptop, according to a sworn statement by Det. Abigail Zimmer of the Manchester Police Department.

"Marchetti advised the last time he downloaded a file of child pornography was this morning, an hour prior to our arrival," said Zimmer, a member of the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. "Marchetti advised he did not think it was illegal."

A detective who accompanied Zimmer, Matthew Raymond, told Marchetti that child pornography pertains to any image or video that depicts a child under the age of 16 either posing lewdly in the nude or involved in a sex act.

According to the affidavit, a "preview examination" of Marchetti's laptop turned up six video files of child pornography.

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Marchetti appeared in Bennington County Superior Court on May 23 and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Judge David Barra allowed him to be free from jail on conditions, including not having contact with any minor and not possessing devices that can connect to the internet, according to court records.

He is scheduled to return to court July 12. He is represented by defense attorney Daniel McManus.

Last week, Vermont's top state and federal prosecutors announced the arrest of eight other men on charges related to child pornography, part of an operation run by the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan and U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan used the cases to highlight the work of investigators who are seeking to protect children. Donovan said the crimes against children task force conducted 303 investigations in the last fiscal year, up 147 percent from the previous year.

The eight defendants — none from Bennington County — were charged after a series of investigations that began with tips from internet service providers, which detected suspected sexual exploitation on their networks and forwarded the information to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Tiffany Tan can be reached at ttan@benningtonbanner.com, @tiffgtan at Twitter and 802-447-7567 ext. 122. AP contributed to this report.


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