Sheraton hotel general manager arrested on child porn charges

By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

 

Massachusetts police last week arrested a veteran hotel manager inside his current hotel – a Sheraton in suburban Boston – on child pornography charges.

Police arrested Robert Diduca, 46, at the Sheraton hotel in Framingham, Mass., after acting on a tip from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Early searches of his computer storage devices revealed some 10,000 images of young children, according to ICE. Diduca is also alleged to have videos of young children engaged in sexual acts.

Diduca’s lawyer told a local TV station that there was no evidence that any images were taken at the Sheraton hotel or involvved any guests.

In ICE’s Friday statement, Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr., is quoted as saying:

“This is a particularly disgusting crime and any time we can put a dent in the dissemination of child pornography, it’s a good day for law enforcement.”

In a Milford District Court courtroom last week, Diduca last week pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of dissemination of child pornography. A judge set his bail at $5,000 and set the next court date in January.

Prior to last week’s arrest, investigators had made “direct contact” with Diduca over the Internet, Milford Police Chief Thomas O’Loughlin told the Milford Daily News. “It’s been going on for some time,” O’Loughlin told the paper.

Diduca has been the Sheraton’s general manager for the last eight years, according to a story by local ABC affiliate WHDH-TV.A local chamber of commerce lists him as a board member. A company website says he has 24 years of experience at a range of hotels including Marriott, Hilton, Doubletree and Sheraton.

Richard Sweeney, Diduca’s defense attorney, told WHDH-TV that there is no evidence that the images involved the hotel or hotel guests.

“There is no evidence whatsoever, not in the Commonwealth’s papers or anywhere, that there were any pictures taken at the hotel or of any guests at the hotel or anything even remotely related to the hotel other than the fact that he worked at that hotel, and at the hotel he had on his possession a laptop…and a thumb drive.”In court, prosecutor Cheryl Riddle said the suspect is “someone who is constantly online and uploading, downloading, sharing, trading and collecting images of children being sexually abused, WHDH-TV says. The report continues:Investigators caught onto him after he allegedly was regularly participating in online chat rooms. One of the names he would go by, according to investigators, was “Babytodd.” Allegedly he made disturbing comments about toddlers and little boys. 

The investigation continues, according to the Milford Daily News article.

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