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Suspect in Child Porn Possession Case Worked in Johnston Schools

Johnston School Supt. Dr. Bernard DiLullo confirmed that Nicholas Pislowski, 23, of 72 Harding Ave., was a substitute custodian until June, 2010.

The Johnston man charged with possession and transmission of child pornography is a former part-time employee of the , Supt. Dr. Bernard DiLullo confirmed in a telephone interview.

Nicholas Pislowski, 23, of Harding Avenue, was arraigned in Third District Court, Warwick, yesterday following his arrest by Rhode Island State Police. He faces charges of possession of child pornography and transferring pornographic images over the Internet.

DiLullo said that Pislowski worked as a substitute custodian for about nine months before completing a final assignment in June, 2010, and is no longer employed by the district.

"He worked on an as-needed basis, for example, if a custodian called in sick," DiLullo explained. "He was primarily working evenings."

State Police Capt. Michael Winquist said in a separate phone interview that the department began its investigation in December, 2011, into Pislowski's activity on peer-to-peer file sharing sites online. 

"That's when we started going into these programs and identifying these individuals," Winquist explained.

Six other adults and a juvenile were also arrested as part of the investigation, dubbed "Operation Darknet."

During yesterday's press conference at State Police headquarters in Scituate, Lt. Col. Raymond Studley explained that Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Division detectives conducted an "undercover online investigation" where they logged into the online sharing sites anonymously and found that "certain Internet Protocol (IP) addresses were actively viewing images of child pornography, as well as sharing these images with other users."

After tracking the IP addresses back to the physical location of the computers, detectives then obtained search warrants for the homes of 14 people around the state found to be downloading and sharing the files, Studley said.

Studley also noted that the possession charge carries a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison, while the tranfer charge carries a jail term of up to 15 years.

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