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California father arrested for child pornography was indicted in 2018. But a computer glitch prevented trial


Police found "several hundred" images of child sexual abuse in the hands of Ryan Rovito in 2018, who did not go to trial due to an alleged computer glitch. Last week he was arrested again for possession of another 900 photographs with the same content.

By Julianne McShane -

NBC News

A California father who was arrested last week after authorities discovered more than 900 images of child sexual abuse was also charged in 2018 with having "several hundred" similar photographs.

The suspect has so far avoided trial due to an alleged computer glitch, according to a law enforcement official.

Ryan Rovito, 34, of Redding, is charged with one felony possession of child pornography and surreptitious (hidden) recording after his wife gave police a camera she found hidden in the couple's guest bathroom and a hard drive.

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In 2018, his former wife also went to authorities and reported that she had photos of "prepubescent minors" on her computer, said Sgt. Rob Garnero, a Redding police spokesman.

Victoria and Ryan Rovito in February 2022, before they were married. Betsy Erickson

That case got lost in a new


system and didn't reach the Shasta County District Attorney's Office until November, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office said.



"had some bugs when it went live," Garnero said, adding that the police department's records division made a note in its internal


in December that the previous case had been lost.

When police filed the current case against Rovito, they found the old one — “and that's when we found out that that case had never been fully discovered when it was filed,” Garnero explained.

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Ryan Rovito did not respond to multiple attempts to ask for comment.

His attorney, Timothy Prentiss, said Rovito maintains his innocence.

“From his perspective, he is willing to challenge these allegations, and we would prefer to challenge them in the legal system,” Prentiss stated.

Prentiss said he was not familiar with the 2018 allegations.

"Everything seemed perfect"

Police said there was a three-year statute of limitations on the 2018 case, which had expired when the ruling was discovered.

But the Shasta County prosecutor's office said Thursday that the case falls under a 10-year limit.

“We are going to have to do some additional research to review the case before making any filing decisions,” a spokesperson for the prosecutor said.

Rovito's ex-wife, who made the 2018 report, could not be reached for comment by phone or email Thursday.

Court records show that she filed for divorce in April 2019.

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His current wife, Victoria Rovito, said if officials had prosecuted him in 2018, their family's life could never have been "turned upside down and shattered."

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“I understand that mistakes happen, but these things cannot be forgotten

,” said Victoria Rovito, 33, in an exclusive interview this week.

“It could have been someone's life.

It could have been the lives of several people,” she noted.

He said he knew nothing of the earlier allegations until police brought them to his attention this month and has since shared them with the National Guard, in which he said Rovito has served.

A National Guard spokesman directed questions to a California National Guard spokesman, who did not immediately respond to questions Thursday.

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This situation did not seem understandable

When Victoria and Ryan Rovito met in 2021, he seemed like the ideal partner: He got along well with their son, now 3, and would "literally do anything for me," she recounted.

They married less than a year later, in February 2022, and seven months ago they had a daughter.

“Everything seemed perfect,” he recalled.

So when she found a hidden camera in the guest bathroom at his home in Redding, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) north of Sacramento, and was later told by authorities that he allegedly had hundreds of abuse images, child sexual assault on her hard drive, she was in "absolute shock."

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“This situation seemed unimaginable to me,” he declared.

Redding police explained that when Victoria Rovito first found the camera and confronted her husband, Ryan Rovito "swore to take it down and throw it away."

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She discovered that he had not thrown it away as promised, and on March 8, she handed over the camera and the hard drive to the police, "fearing that Mr. Rovito had nefariously recorded his young children using the bathroom," as she explained. the police department.

Authorities said they conducted a forensic analysis of the devices and found hundreds of sexual assault photos and multiple videos.

Garnero said Wednesday that the police department is still reviewing devices from Ryan Rovito's residence.

Police have said that videos obtained from the camera "showed children and adults using the toilet who did not appear to know they were being recorded."

Rovito was arrested on March 16, during a traffic stop, on charges related to the crime of possession of child pornography and the surreptitious recording of an identifiable person who was nude.

On the day of his arrest, he posted $25,000 bail.

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If convicted,

Rovito could face between 16 months and eight years in prison

and could also be sentenced to probation and required to register as a sex offender for life instead of facing prison terms.

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Rovito could also face up to a year in county jail on the surreptitious recording charge, which is a misdemeanor under California law.

But Garnero added that "this scenario is unlikely since Rovito does not have a criminal record."

He is due to appear in court on April 21, according to Garnero.

"We have to protect our children"

Victoria Rovito requested, and was granted, a temporary restraining order against her husband the day after his arrest, according to court documents.

She is focused on rebuilding her family's future: "I feel like our lives have been destroyed," she said.

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A GoFundMe campaign, a collective financing platform, created by a friend indicates that the money raised will be used for living expenses and legal fees: "For doing the right thing, in the end she has been left with many needs," she says.

In the meantime, Rovito hopes that by sharing her story, she can show others how to protect their children in cases of child sexual abuse.

"Once I realized what was happening, I didn't want it to happen to anyone else, and that was the factor that drove me," he said.

young victims

About 25% of American girls and one in 13 boys are sexually abused, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In more than 90% of the cases, the aggressors are known and enjoy the trust of the children and their families, according to data from the same organization.

“It could be a family member, extended family, a coach or a doctor, someone who doesn't raise suspicion by being around the child,” said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of the National Anti-Rape Network. Abuse and Incest, an organization against sexual violence better known as RAINN.

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Berkowitz noted that it is crucial to teach children to alert trusted adults if they are sexually abused.

Adults should take a “safety first” approach, removing children from the proximity of offenders, paying attention to their psychological needs, and alerting the relevant authorities if such an option exists.

Victoria Rovito agrees: “We have to protect our children.

They cannot protect themselves,” she stated.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

This line, run by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), can put you in touch with your local rape crisis centre.

You can also access RAINN's online chat service at


Confidential chats are available in English and Spanish.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-24

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