Sterling Heights Man Guilty of 12 Felonies for Possessing and Distributing Child Pornography

MT. CLEMENS, MI – John Cafarelli, of Sterling Heights, was found guilty on Thursday July 6, 2017, of 10 felony counts of Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Materials (CSAM), one count of Distribution of Child Sexually Abusive Materials, and one count of Using a Computer to Commit a Crime.

“Possession of child pornography is a despicable crime and there must be consequences,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. “Every time an image is looked at or sent to someone new, the child in that photo is victimized all over again. This guilty verdict provides justice by taking another child predator off the street.”

Cafarelli, 54, originally pleaded guilty in October 2016 but at the time of sentencing in November 2016 he stated he was innocent and was allowed to withdraw the original plea. The case was then sent to trial leading to this guilty verdict on Thursday, July 6, 2017.

Possession of CSAM is a four year felony, Distribution of CSAM is a 7 year felony and Using a Computer to Commit a Crime is also a 7 year felony.

Cafarelli was found guilty by a jury and was immediately remanded into custody by Judge James Maceroni who presided over the trial in Macomb County Circuit Court. Cafarelli is scheduled to be sentenced on August 30, 2017.

Case Background

In 2014 an undercover investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) into the internet sharing of child pornography pointed to an IP address that belonged to Cafarelli. A search warrant was first issued for the owner of the IP address. It was determined that it belonged to Cafarelli, at which point a search warrant of his home was issued. When the search warrant was executed Cafarelli answered the door partially clothed and child pornography was actively running on his computer. As a result of the warrant a desktop computer was seized from Cafarelli’s bedroom. Upon forensic review, numerous images of child sexually abusive materials were found on Cafarelli’s personal computer. As that computer was determined to be solely used by Cafarelli, he was charged with possession of child sexually abusive materials.