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Child porn suspect’s release from jail has some on edge

Renzo Barduagni 50 700 block Violet Court Naperville has posted bond is out jail. He faces trial child pornography charges

Renzo Barduagni, 50, of the 700 block of Violet Court in Naperville, has posted bond and is out of jail. He faces trial on child pornography charges, following a 4-month-long investigation by Naperville police. | Courtesy of DuPage County Sheriff's Department

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Updated: February 10, 2013 5:48PM



The release from jail of an accused child pornographer who allegedly filmed a preteen girl emerging from a shower has left at least some of the Naperville man’s neighbors fearful and angry.

Renzo Barduagni appeared Tuesday in DuPage County Circuit Court in Wheaton to answer six felony charges of aggravated child pornography possession and one of unauthorized video recording of a subject under the age of 18.

The 50-year-old Barduagni was released Saturday from DuPage County Jail after posting $30,000 bond, the 10 percent of his $300,000 bail required by law. He had been in the jail since his Oct. 15 arrest.

Barduagni lives on the 700 block of Violet Circle, in the Wildflower area of far west-central Naperville. He is living and working in the U.S. on a visa.

Authorities have charged him with storing pornographic images of children in at least two computers in his home. He is also accused of using a video camera to surreptitiously film a grade school-age neighbor girl as she was getting out of a shower inside her family’s home.

Members of the Naperville Police Department’s High Technology Crimes Unit began investigating Barduagni last spring, after he allegedly downloaded child pornography from the Internet. They served a search warrant at his house in October and allegedly seized more than 100 images of children under the age of 17 engaged in sex acts, as well as computer and electronic equipment that reportedly included at least one camera with a long-range lens.

Word of Barduagni’s release from jail infuriated Al Karman, a father of three and community activist who lives on Barduagni’s block.

Karman on Monday said he could not understand why or how Barduagni could be released on bail, given the severity of the charges against him. Karman expressed concern for the safety of Wildflower-area children, who board and debark school buses at stops not far from Barduagni’s home.

The charges against Barduagni “are all probationable offenses,” Karman said. “Even somebody with this much alleged evidence against him could plead out and walk away” without serving any significant jail or prison time, he said.

“I think this guy, as an alleged pervert, doesn’t deserve the right or privilege to live among other people,” Karman said. He added he and his neighbors “are just another go-round in what is wrong with the American legal system.”

Paul Darrah, spokesman for DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin, said Monday he believed authorities have done all they can do to keep Barduagni in check without violating his rights. He said that included Berlin’s request in October that Barduagni’s bond be set at $500,000, rather than the $300,000 that ended up being set by a judge.

Darrah said a suggestion Barduagni be made to wear a GPS bracelet to monitor his movements in and around his home would be largely ineffective. Barduagni is an accused child pornographer, and “a GPS device in this case would not alert us to anything he is doing” with computers or cameras, Darrah said.

“A $300,000 bond for these types of allegations is a significant bond,” Darrah said.

Moreover, authorities confiscated all of Barduagni’s computers and film equipment at the time of his arrest, along with his passport, Darrah said.

Further conditions of Barduagni’s release on bond include barring him from access to computers or the Internet and prohibiting him from having contact of any sort with anyone under the age of 18, Darrah said. Barduagni also must report to the court’s pretrial services department on a weekly basis, he said.

“Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and has the right to post bond and get out of jail” should a judge deem that appropriate, Darrah said.

Court documents indicated Barduagni has no significant criminal record in DuPage, Kane and Will counties. He is scheduled to return Jan. 16 to Judge George J. Bakalis’ courtroom.



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