Convicted Merritt Island Child Rapist Joshua Tatro Attempts To Avoid Serving Sentence In State Prison
By Space Coast Daily // June 12, 2017
SENTENCED TO 350-years in federal prison
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Joshua Tatro, 24, of Merritt Island, already convicted on federal child porn charges with a 350-year sentence, appeared in court last Friday after agreeing to plead guilty to state charges of child rape.
Tatro is attempting to serve his sentence in federal prison, rather than in state prison, as prosecutors said state prison has a reputation for being very tough on anyone convicted of child sex crimes.
Tatro was arrested in March 2015 after being discovered with a young child, and authorities accused Tatro of having already violated a different child, who was just 3.
The judge told Tatro he’ll have to take his chances, who can plead guilty to the state charges and hope the federal system decides to keep him, or he can go to trial and try to win acquittal on the state charges.
An acquittal on the state charges would not affect his 350-year federal sentence.
in July 2016, U.S. District Judge, Roy B. Dalton, Jr. found Tatro, guilty of nine counts of producing child pornography, three counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
According to testimony and evidence presented at Tatro’s federal trial in July 2016, on nine separate occasions between October 2014 and March 2015, Tatro produced images and videos depicting him sexually abusing a three year-old child.
He also used a messaging app on his phone to send and receive images depicting child pornography, and he uploaded images of child pornography onto an online account that he maintained. Law enforcement began investigating Tatro after they learned of his online activity from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
On March 17, 2015, agents from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Tatro’s residence, where he and the child victim were living. During the execution of the warrant, cellphones were recovered from Tatro’s pocket and his bedroom.
A forensic examination of those phones led to the recovery of the explicit images and videos that Tatro had produced. During an interview with agents, Tatro admitted to producing the images and videos, and to sending them to others using the messenger app.
In total, Tatro possessed 76 videos and 692 photographs of child pornography on his cellphones. A search of his online drive account revealed more than 1,000 stored images of child pornography. Several of the images in Tatro’s possession depicted children under the age of 12 being sexually abused and exploited.
This case was investigated by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Searle.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims.
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY CRIME NEWS