MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) - A former Mobile Assistant District Attorney is out on bondTuesday night after being arrested and charged with child sexcrimes. Steve Giardini was a specialized child sex crime prosecutorfor Mobile, making his charges shocking and ironic.
The arrest of Giardini came early Tuesday morning. It was ashock to people who know Giardini.
Most of his neighbors wouldn't say a peep about the arrest. Eventhose who worked closely with him, including several otherassistant DA's, Sheriff Sam Cochran, and Child Advocacy DirectorPat Guyton, have their lips sealed.
In April 2009, FBI raided Giardini's home. What they found inhis Dauphin Street home is still a secret, but it was enough toarrest him Tuesday.
Giardini is accused of soliciting a 15-year-old girl over theinternet to have sex. The girl he was allegedly contacting was anundercover FBI agent. The attorney general's office said he wasgoing to produce pornography. This is something District AttorneyJohn Tyson, Jr. said is unfortunate and a major shock.
"Completely disappointing, it was for us when found more than ayear ago and you know, it just leaves me speechless. He was atrusted person and did some really fine work for us and for him tobe involved in anything remotely like this is a hugedisappointment," Tyson said.
Tyson said Giardini was specifically assigned to work with TheChild Advocacy Center and its director, Pat Guyton, to prosecutecriminals who committed sex crimes against children.
Guyton said Tuesday he would not make any comments on thearrest, saying, "He felt it was inappropriate to comment on thearrest at this time."
Tyson said he can see why Guyton is upset. He said Giardiniduped everyone.
"He was a trusted member of that staff. They worked with himevery day, those are the experts in the field and none of them hada clue about this. And so I'm sure there is a mixture of can'tbelieve what they are hearing, to disappointment, to outright angerand hostility," Tyson said.
FOX10 News went to Giardini's home on Dauphin Street. While acar was in the driveway, no one came to the door.
His attorney, Dennis Knizely, tells us he had just received acopy of the indictment Tuesday afternoon and would have to look itover to learn more about the case. He said his client will pleadnot guilty.
Specifically, he is charged with:
- one count of acting with the intent to entice a child under the age of age 16 for intercourse, sodomy or other sexual purposes, a class C felony punishable by one to 10 years imprisonment
- one count of acting with the intent to criminally solicit the production of child pornography, a class B felony punishable by two to 20 years imprisonment
- one count of acting with the intent to entice a child for sexual purposes, by means of computer, telephone, personal digital assistant, or other electronic means of communication or information storage, a class B felony punishable by two to 20 years imprisonment
Giardini is of course innocent until proven guilty, and wasreleased Tuesday on $250,000 bond.
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