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Former deputy arraigned on federal child porn charges

By WGCL Staff

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    ATLANTA (WGCL) — Former Cobb County Sheriff’s Office deputy Peter Bilardello has been arraigned on federal charges of distribution and possession of child pornography. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 25.

“Bilardello allegedly shared child pornography through social media while he was employed as a law enforcement officer,” said U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “The victimization of children is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, and distributing images of child sexual abuse compounds the harm. It is especially troubling that these crimes were allegedly committed by someone in a position of public trust.”

According to a press release, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a report that a MeWe social media user had allegedly uploaded and shared approximately 12 images depicting children under 12 years old in sexually explicit conduct. The NCMEC provided the information to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who determined the account user was likely in Marrietta. The GBI then contacted the Cobb County Police Department.

On Aug. 10, CCPD determined the user was Peter Bilardello, who worked for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office at the time. He had been employed by Cobb County for more than 15 years and worked in the Sex Offender Unit for at least part of that time.

Search warrants were executed and investigators reportedly recovered more than 100 images and videos featuring Young children. He was arrested and resigned from the sheriff’s office. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

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