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Man is arraigned on pandering charges



Published: Wed, July 27, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The charges carry maximum penalties of eight years in prison.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Trial has been set for Sept. 21 for Adam Zagotti, 23, on numerous charges of owning or viewing sexually explicit material involving minors.

Zagotti, who lists an Ohio Avenue address, appeared for arraignment Tuesday with his lawyer, James S. Gentile, before Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

The prosecutor's office asked the judge to set bond at $50,000 and to allow Zagotti to post 10 percent of that amount. Judge Sweeney denied Gentile's request for a lower bail. The attorney had argued that the amount was unreasonable.

Zagotti could not come up with the $5,000 and was taken to the county jail, Gentile said. The case has been assigned to Judge James C. Evans, and Gentile said he would ask the judge to lower the bond.

A grand jury returned an indictment against Zagotti on July 14 on 10 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor; five counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material; and two counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor.

Obscene material

The indictment says the time period of the acts was from June 2001 and continued through September 2003, all in Mahoning County.

The indictment says Zagotti sold, displayed or distributed material that shows minors participating in sex acts; that he possessed or viewed material that showed nude minors; and that he rented, disseminated or provided obscene material with a minor as one of its participants, or as portrayed observers.

The 12 pandering charges are second-degree felonies, which carry a maximum eight-year prison term. The five charges of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material are fifth-degree felonies that carry a maximum one-year prison sentence.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol investigated the case based on a tip from Youngstown State University police. The patrol investigates criminal activities on state-owned and state-leased property.

After getting a search warrant, the patrol downloaded the incriminating material from Zagotti's computer. Zagotti was a YSU student at that time, and authorities said that most of the material involved boys.




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