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Another charge filed in child porn case

Times Staff Writer
Published July 10, 2003

LARGO - A man already facing charges that he transmitted child pornography over the Internet is now facing an additional charge after investigators found thousands of child-porn images on his computer.

Haider Rabbani, 45, now faces two charges of child pornography possession and another of child-porn transmission. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday on the newest charge, then released after he posted $5,000 bail.

Police arrested Rabbani of Largo last month on charges that he transmitted child pornography via e-mail to a boy he thought was 14 years old. The boy turned out to be an undercover detective from New Hampshire posing as a teen.

Arrest reports indicate Rabbani corresponded with the undercover detective from April 29 to May 22. Rabbani told the boy that he loved him and would like to have sexual relations with him, reports state. Rabbani asked the child to send nude photos to him. He sent the boy a movie and 438 photos of child pornography, arrest reports state.

Detectives seized Rabbani's computer and sent it to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for analysis. About 46,000 images were found in the computer, more than half of them child pornography, Largo police Detective Tara Hansen said.

Second man charged in Coast Guardsman's death

LARGO - The second man wanted in the drunken-driving death of a U.S. Coast Guardsman was arrested on a manslaughter charge Wednesday morning. James Fratesi, 24, was charged with DUI-manslaughter in connection with the December death of Scott P. Cummings, 21, a U.S. Coast Guard seaman.

Fratesi, who was a U.S. Coast Guard seaman apprentice at the time of the crash, turned himself in to authorities Wednesday. Largo police say Fratesi was driving home from a Wing House in Pinellas Park when he made an improper left turn in front of a truck at Seminole Boulevard and 16th Avenue SE.

The truck, which police said was speeding, struck the car. Cummings, a passenger in Fratesi's car, died at the scene. Police said both Fratesi and the driver of the truck, Cory O'Hanlan, 22, had been drinking that night.

Both had blood-alcohol counts above 0.08, the level at which state law presumes impairment.

Purse robber sentenced to nine months in jail

CLEARWATER - A man charged with robbing a woman of her purse as she fit her baby into a car seat has been sentenced to jail.

Anthony E. Lawson, 27, was charged with robbing a woman in the parking lot of Best Buy at U.S. 19 and Drew Street on March 12.

Minutes later, he tried to use the victim's credit card at a nearby Target to buy $900 in electronics equipment.

But the woman had reported her credit cards stolen by then, and Target employees noticed the cards had been red-flagged. They called police, and Lawson was arrested on charges of robbery and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Lawson pleaded guilty to those charges Monday. Circuit Judge Brandt Downey then sentenced him to serve nine months in the Pinellas County Jail. Lawson will receive credit for the 117 days he has already served in jail since his arrest. His sentence will be followed by three years' probation.

Downey also ordered Lawson to pay $1,065 in restitution to the woman he robbed.

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