84ºF

New child porn charges filed against local photographer

Mario Peralta jailed since May 2015

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Mario Arthur Peralta III
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Mario Arthur Peralta III

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – New charges were filed against a well-known photographer from Jacksonville Beach who was arrested last year on a charge of video voyeurism.

Mario Peralta, 42, has been in the Duval County Jail since his arrest in May 2015.

Jacksonville Beach police said he's now charged with 18 counts of sexual performance by a child, possession of child pornography and two counts of video voyeurism of someone younger than 19 years of age.

Police said the additional charges came after numerous electronic items were seized during a search warrant.

Jacksonville Beach police said they found hundreds of images that were downloaded from the internet, not from his photo studio.

Those photos were declared child pornography from other prosecuted cases. There are no other photos or videos from his studio that need identification.

Police said the two counts of video voyeurism involved two victims who were identified.

Peralta operated his own business, Mario Peralta Photography.

He set up a modeling photo shoot with a 16-year-old girl at a studio in Jacksonville Beach in May 2015. Prior to her arrival, Peralta placed a hidden digital video camera in a dressing room, Jacksonville Beach police said.

The camera was placed in a manner that allowed him to video record the girl undressing, police said.

The girl's father went to the studio with her that day and said he noticed the camera while his daughter was out with Peralta on the shoot.

Peralta was arrested at his Jacksonville home.

He is awaiting trial.