A Massachusetts man whose case led to the discovery of a massive child sex abuse case in the Netherlands has been charged with distributing child pornography, according to court documents.
Robert Diduca, 47, was a member of an online forum for those with a sexual interest in children. He came to the attention of law enforcement last year when he sent a pornographic image of a child via e-mail to investigators of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), who alerted Massachusetts State Police.
Diduca was arrested at his home in Milford, a town in Worcester County of Massachusetts, in early November 2010. During a search of his computer storage devices, investigators discovered some 10,000 images and videos of young children engaged in sexual acts.
One of the images recovered from Diduca’s computer showed a two-year-old boy whose diaper had been opened to expose his genitalia, and one video showed an adult man sexually abusing a two-year-old boy. Investigators determined that the photos and videos did not appear to have been made in the United States and shared an edited image on Interpol’s secure system for international law enforcement officials in order to help identify the victim.
As a result, Dutch police soon recognized the material was of Dutch origin and requested additional photos to help in the investigation. An edited photo of the victim was eventually shown on Dutch television on December 7 after which someone recognized the child and called police.
Hours later, police in the Netherlands arrested 27-year-old Robert Mikelsons who confessed to sexually abusing dozens of young children while being employed at two Amsterdam nurseries between February 2007 and January 2010. He also offered his services through several websites. Mikelsons is believed to have abused at least 85 young children.
Diduca, who remains in custody, previously pled not guilty to similar charges. If found guilty, he faces at least 5 years and up to 20 years in prison, followed by up to lifetime supervised release and a $250,000 fine.