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FBI Arrests Warwick Man on Child Porn Charges

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld suspending 2020 RI mail vote witnesses on Aug. 7.

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld suspending 2020 RI mail vote witnesses on Aug. 7.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld suspending 2020 RI mail vote witnesses on Aug. 7.
PROVIDENCE – A Warwick man who allegedly shared links of child pornography while participating in an online group chat was ordered detained in federal custody after the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force arrested him.

Owen Batista, 26, of Warwick, was ordered held until a hearing on Friday during an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence on child pornography charges, according to United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman’s office.

In their case against him, the FBI alleges that Batista, 26, posted links on a social media platform where members allegedly distribute videos and images of child pornography. Investigators allege that Batista directed members of the platform to online digital storage folders that, a forensic review by FBI agents determined, contained 738 files. A forensic examination determined that seventeen of eighteen mp4 videos downloaded and viewed by FBI agents allegedly depicted the sexual abuse of children.

According to court documents, at the time of his arrest Batista allegedly told agents that he opened a social media account on the platform used for sharing child pornography by using a family member’s email address. A brief forensic review by task force agents of Batista’s iPad at the time of his arrest allegedly revealed a video depicting child pornography. Batista allegedly told agents that he thought the video contained “midget porn” and was unaware that the video depicted child pornography.

Batista appeared before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan and was ordered detained until a Friday hearing on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

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 A federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.

 The FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force is comprised of FBI agents and members of the Providence and Warwick Police Departments.