Man arrested in child exploitation

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ATHENS, Ga. - An Athens journalist and academic was arrested on child exploitation charges this week after investigators found pornography on his computer, including an infant being sexually assaulted, according to arrest warrants.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation began investigating 61-year-old Elton Felix Manzione after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip that Mr. Manzione was involved with child pornography, according to Fred Stephens, special agent in charge of the GBI's Athens field office.

Agents searched Mr. Manzione's Newton Bridge Road home Jan. 12 and seized a computer that held 10 child porn images, according to the GBI's arrest warrant.

In one image, a young girl was bound, gagged and sexually assaulted with an object, the warrant said, and another image showed an adult's penis touching an infant's mouth.

Mr. Manzione, who surrendered at the Clarke County Jail, was charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of children and released on a $2,000 bond.

His attorney, David Crow, would not confirm that Mr. Manzione had images of children in his computer. He said, however, that his client is accused of victimless crimes.

"It's a dangerous path for law enforcement to tread down when they start charging people with a crime because they possess images," Mr. Crowe said. "They haven't hurt anyone or done anything to anyone. I'd better lock my offices and bolt my doors, because we probably all looked at images or have images in our possession that could lead to our arrest."

Nikki Nathan, the executive director of the Sexual Assault Center of Northeast Georgia, bristled at the notion that possessing child pornography is a victimless crime.

"Somebody had to be victimized in order for someone to photograph those pictures," she said. "Someone is doing something to those kids, so they are being sexually abused."

Each count of sexual exploitation of children is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Mr. Crowe asked that Mr. Manzione be released on his own recognizance on all charges, writing to an Athens-Clarke County Magistrate Court judge that his client "has been a resident of Athens for most, if not all, of his adult life. He is married and ... has been a journalist and academic for most of his life."

Mr. Manzione wrote for The Observer, a defunct Athens weekly newspaper, and is listed on the University of Georgia's Web site as a part-time English instructor. The English department said Tuesday that he no longer works there.

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BBSouth 02/15/07 - 08:57 am
What's the next excuse...

What's the next excuse... that child pornography is art?!!!

getalife 02/15/07 - 09:13 am
These freaks are coming out

These freaks are coming out of the woodwork! Everyday in this paper there are several stories of these monsters. He should be locked up for the rest of his life!!!

Queen4842 02/15/07 - 10:01 am
Wait just a moment here. It

Wait just a moment here. It is possible that these images were loaded as part of a virus on his computer, it is possible that these images were downloaded in research for a story or paper. It is clearly a case of wait until the evidence is presented before finding this person guilty and suitable for death. I have actually clicked on a link provided on the AC forum board and was directed to a clearly pron site onmy computer I immediately closed the window doesn't matter the image or images are stored somewhere on my computer for ever. So be careful rushing to judgment as you could be next.

Edward1968 02/15/07 - 12:02 pm
Nikki Nathan is absolutely

Nikki Nathan is absolutely correct!!

Queen4842, while it is very slightly possible that a virus could have placed the image on the computer hard drive how did NCMEC get the tip? Did the virus notify them? I think not. Computer forensics can determine the method and time that the images were installed. I am sure GBI will take the necessary steps to ensure that they have a solid case.

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