Jury to deliberate on child porn case

WINCHESTER – After two days of hearing and viewing evidence, jurors serving in the trial of a Stephens City man accused of possessing child pornography will deliberate on a verdict today in Frederick County Circuit Court.

David Anthony Donatoni, 36, has been charged with 16 counts of possessing child pornography. Agents executed a federal warrant in January 2014 to search the Stephens City residence where he and his sister, Jessica Donatoni, lived at the time.

In Tuesday’s proceedings, the jury heard from investigating agents about execution of the search warrant, interviews conducted at that time and processing David Donatoni’s laptop as evidence. Witnesses said that in a consensual interview with Donatoni, he said he had downloaded child porn within the past year of the warrant but later deleted it, initially saying there wouldn’t be any such files found on his computer.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Heather Enloe called her remaining witnesses to the stand on Wednesday, including Dr. Alan Rogol, who specializes in pediatrics at University of Virginia. Agents who were with the Office of the Attorney General at the time of the investigation described processing Donatoni’s laptop and copying an identical image for analysis.

The jury was given time to review a packet of images that Zachary Moyer, at the time a computer forensic examiner with the office, said he recovered after forensic investigation. He said that although a person may delete files from a computer and wipe information using special software, the files can still be found through the data carving process.

During Rogol’s testimony, he said that having reviewed the images before, he believes six individuals portrayed in the files are younger than 18 years old based on his knowledge of pediatric endocrinology, or study of development in children. He said he has the most certainty about four subjects and two other subjects had more potential to be 18 or older. When questioned by defense attorney John Flannery II about the remaining 10 images, he said he required more time to study them before he could determine whether or not the subjects in them were younger than 18.

Flannery moved to dismiss all, 10 or at least one of Donatoni’s counts for lack of evidence that the subjects in 10 of the images were minors, and testimony from Rogol that one image was similar to those used in textbooks and classrooms. Judge Randy Bryant denied multiple motions Flannery made to dismiss counts.

In his presentation, Flannery first called Jessica Donatoni to the stand for questioning, starting off with her description of the day the search warrant was executed. She described hearing banging on the front door at around 5:30 a.m. and, once she opened the door to five agents in vests with guns, hearing them yelling at her to step outside.

Jessica Donatoni also said that since obtaining a wifi router in about 2006, people identifying themselves as Comcast personnel had visited the residence on two separate occasions asking about the internet service – occasions which she contacted Comcast and, later, law enforcement about. She also said that others had access to the wifi password, including an uncle who is a convicted rapist.

In response to questions from Enloe, Jessica Donatoni said despite mentioning the uncle at the time the search warrant was executed, she felt uncomfortable talking about his victims.

Other witnesses called to the stand by Flannery testified to the lack of security and potential methods of hacking into the Donatonis’ router, which was presented as evidence.

In her rebuttal, Enloe asked Moyer if the defense accessed the copied image of Donatoni’s computer, and he responded that although he would’ve made it available, the defense did not do so. She also questioned David Liu, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security and previous witness, about his interview and interaction with Jessica Donatoni when the warrant was executed.

Court will reconvene this morning to hear closing arguments and to deliberate on a verdict.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com

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