UPDATE: Mason professor arrested for alleged child pornography possession

A part-time adjunct professor of Italian at George Mason University was arrested for allegedly possessing child pornography on Thursday, according to a detective with the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police.

Diego Fasolini, 42, who is also a part-time Italian professor at George Washington University, was arrested on that campus by Metropolitan Police after GWU staff allegedly found suspected child pornography on an external hard drive, according to GWU Director of Media Relations Michelle Sherrard.

The University said the hard drive belonged to a part-time faculty member who had asked a technical support analyst for assistance.

After finding the suspected material, the analyst notified GW University Police who then alerted the Metropolitan Police Department. MPD investigated the matter and arrested the faculty member, according to the GWU statement from Sherrard.

Mason Human Resources confirms that Fasolini is employed by George Mason University and according to course listings on PatriotWeb, Fasolini is teaching two Italian language courses on the Fairfax campus.

George Mason University Spokesman Dan Walsch said the University found out about the allegations against Fasolini today and that classes are being covered. Beyond that, Walsch could not comment further, saying, “This is an evolving personnel matter.”

According to a student in Fasolini’s Elementary Italian class, Monday’s class lasted about 15 minutes and was lead by Assistant Italian Professor Kristina Olson.

C2M has also reached out to the George Mason University Police for comment, but that inquiry has yet to be returned. C2M is also awaiting the charging documents issued by the Metropolitan Police Department.

C2M also reached out to Fasolini for comment, but has yet to hear back.


UPDATE: Monday 5:30 p.m.

According to a “statement of fact” attached to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court Oct. 29, Fasolini’s external hard drive contained more than 100,000 pornographic images, including at least some photos of minors exploited in sexual situations.

When questioned about the source of such images by Metropolitan Police officials, the affidavit says Fasolini said they came from Internet sites and Google searches.

According to the affidavit, Fasolini brought two external hard drives to George Washington University’s Columbian College Office of Technology Services Oct. 22 and asked to have the contents of one hard drive transferred to the second.

A technician in the office made the file transfers on Oct. 25, and as part of normal procedure, opened a few of the files to ensure the transfer was successful, according to the affidavit.

One of the files opened by the technician was an image that appeared to be child pornography, according to the statement.

In an interview with Metropolitan Police conducted in the GWU Police office Oct. 26, Fasolini told officials the hard drive was his personal property that he uses for personal and school business. Fasolini also told officials that he has exclusive use of the hard drive, according to the document.

Fasolini appeared in court Oct. 29 and Judge Deborah A. Robinson ordered he remain in custody pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Tuesday at 1:45 p.m.

This is a developing story and updates will be posted as they become available. Stay tune to C2M in the coming days.

C2M Senior News Editor Adam Sylvain, Broadside Crime Beat Writer Antonieta Rico, C2M Senior News Editor for Student Life & Digest Yasmin Tadjdeh and C2M Senior News Editor for Off-Campus & Community Jordan Frasier contributed to this report.

Photos from the Metropolitian Police Department.

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