Ronald Antoniello from Miller County, Arkansas, United States, has received 300 years in jail in a child pornography case. The verdict was announced by a Miller County jury on Wednesday. The 73-years old accused claimed that the never touched or sexually abused a child ever and that he was only interested in child porn out of curiosity.
Antoniello was questioned by a Texarkana attorney Carolyn Whitefield while the investigations in the case revealed that over 3,000 images that depicted young girls getting raped or tortured were found in both soft and hard copy when the accused’s home was searched in September 2014. The investigators James Lett and Chris Cone were associated with the Arkansas Attorney General’s office and testified on Tuesday.
TXK Today reports that the accused’s former stepdaughter, a 52-year old female, also testified against him and revealed that she along with her sister was abused sexually in the late 1970s by Antoniello when they lived in Florida.
“I would lie there and pretend to be asleep when he was doing things to my body. He had this laugh, this evil laugh, and the smell of him,” the woman testified.
While narrating the abuse that she and her sister had to endure, the woman started crying. She further acknowledged that her own mother opted to stay indifferent in this matter.
It is worth noting that investigators found pictures of the adult victim on the computer equipment confiscated from Antoniello’s residence. The pictures were at least 40 years old and were scanned into digital images; the pictures were also modified to appear sexually posed and nude.
The collected data, which comprised of graphic pictures and violence-filled videos showing young girls being raped, were also shown to the jury along with testimonies of the victims and investigators on Tuesday.
Will Jones and Julie Irwin, Deputy Attorney Generals, requested the jury to give a maximum sentence to Antoniello in all 30 counts for which he was accused. These included possessing, viewing and distributing content that was sexually explicit and involved a child. Each count is punishable by up to $10,000 fine and 3 to 10 years in jail.
Jones stated in his closing remarks that:
“Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it gets worse. It’s an evil that stains your soul, an evil that seeps into your soul and you can’t wash away.”
On the other hand, Irvin stated in closing remarks that the presence of 40-year-old evidence of abuse of Antoniello’s former stepdaughters and altering the pictures to appear nude and sexually explicit proves that he was no saint.
“We don’t just have her word, he kept evidence of what he did 40 years after the fact,” argued Irvin.