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Sterling Heights man guilty of 12 felonies in child-porn case

Officials find child pornography on John Cafarelli's personal computer

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STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – A Sterling Heights man was found guilty Thursday of 12 felonies in connection with a child-pornography case that began in 2014.

John Cafarelli, 43, was found guilty of 10 felony counts of possession of child sexually abusive materials, one count of distribution of child sexually abusive materials and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

The Internet Crimes Against Children task force began investigating Cafarelli's case in 2014, when online child pornography was traced to his IP address.

A search warrant was issued, and agents searched his home. When Cafarelli answered the door for the search warrant, he was partially clothed and child pornography was actively running on his computer, officials said.

Agents seized a desktop computer form Cafarelli's bedroom, and numerous images of child sexually abusive materials were found.

"Possession of child pornography is a despicable crime and there must be consequences," Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said. "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 pleaded guilty in October 2016, but claimed he was innocent during sentencing in November 2016 and withdrew his original plea.

The case was sent to trial, and he was found guilty Thursday.

Possession of child sexually abusive materials is a four-year felony and distribution of child sexually abusive materials and using a computer to commit a crime are seven-year felonies.

Cafarelli will be sentenced August 30.