43ºF

Former UNF student pleads guilty to distributing child sex video

Anthony Stagnitta, 22, shared child sex abuse videos, one involved infant

Mugshot of Anthony Stagnitta, courtesy Bradford County Sheriff's Office
Mugshot of Anthony Stagnitta, courtesy Bradford County Sheriff's Office

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A former University of North Florida student has pleaded guilty to distributing child sex abuse video over the internet. Anthony Stagnitta, 22, faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years, and up to 20 years, in federal prison along with a potential life term of supervised release, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Homeland Security investigators found that between Nov. 24 and Dec.3, 2017, Stagnitta had online conversations with others in a public group chat application and had talked about trading child pornography.

Detectives said Stagnitta sent a video on Dec.3, 2017, to the group that depicted the sadistic sexual abuse of a baby.

On April 30, 2018, Homeland Security agents executed a search warrant at Stagnitta's home in Jacksonville and found his cellphone contained 2,904 images of young children being sexually abused.

Stagnitta then admitted he had talked about child porn using an app, had sent videos of child porn to other users via private messaging and posted videos in group chats, according to agents.

No sentencing date has been set yet for Stagnitta.

Officials said this was another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.