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Rochester Firefighter Charged with Child Pornography

Rochester Fire Department Engine #3, 1043 Emerson St. - Google Image

A Rochester firefighter was arrested Friday and is facing multiple child pornography charges according to the U.S Western District Attorney’s Office.

Brett Marrapese, 31, of Irondequoit, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with production, distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography, including child pornography depicting children as young as toddlers.

According to the complaint from the U.S. Attorney’s office, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) on two occasions—January 2016 and November 2021—received tips that an individual in Rochester, NY, was uploading suspected child pornography online. The New York State Police (NYSP) investigated and traced the IP addresses to “Committee Rochester FD 2%,” which was associated with the Rochester Fire Department (RFD).

The RFD stated that the City of Rochester restricts what websites RFD employees can access using the Fire Department’s internet service, and that the RFD’s “2% fund” pays for separate on-site internet service for employees’ personal use. The NYSP interviewed employees with access to the service in both 2016 and 2021, including Marrapese, who both times denied ever viewing child pornography.

On March 20, 2023, the Irondequoit Police Department received a report from the father of a 13-year-old girl (Minor Victim 1), who had been communicating with an individual via Snapchat with the username “thatdude_2790,” and the display name “Taylor.” Minor Victim 1 believed she was communicating with another minor, but her father believed the individual was actually an adult. An initial review of communications between Minor Victim 1 and thatdude_2790 revealed that thatdude_2790 had persuaded Minor Victim 1 to produce and send him images and videos of child pornography.

Irondequoit Police identified another minor, Minor Victim 2, who had also communicated with thatdude_2790 on Snapchat under the username “Taylor,” and with the Instagram user “Taylorsimpson2419.” Minor Victim 2 was also persuaded to produce and send him child pornography using both accounts.

Investigators executed multiple search warrants and determined that that the user of the thatdude_2790 and Taylorsimpson2419 accounts was Marrapese, and that he had communicated with at least 110 minors, to include Minor Victims 1 and 2, and caused multiple minors to produce and send him child pornography.

In most instances, Marrapese claimed to be a teenager of the same or similar age as the minors with whom he was communicating. Search warrants were also executed on Marrapese’s home, camper, person, vehicle, and lockers at the RFD on June 13, 2023. FBI Special Agents seized multiple digital devices, to include a cellular phone that is believed to have been involved in the 2016 and 2021 NYSP investigations.

Preliminary forensic analysis of one of Marrapese’s phones recovered communications between Marrapese and multiple minors, in which he persuaded them to produce and send him sexually explicit photographs and videos.

Also recovered were communications that Marrapese had with other individuals involving the production of child pornography and sexual abuse of children; surreptitiously recorded photographs of children; and images of children that have been cropped so that it appears that the children are engaged in sexual conduct with adults. To date, 1,393 images and 121 videos of child pornography have been recovered from Marrapese’s cell phone. Some of the images and videos depict the violent sexual abuse of children as young as toddlers.

The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison per count, a maximum of 30 years, and a $250,000 fine.

Authorities is asking anyone with information regarding defendant Marrapese, the INSTAGRAM user “Taylorsimpson2419” (Screenname “Taylor”) or the SNAPCHAT user “Thatdude_2790” (Screenname “Taylor”) to contact the FBI tipline at (585) 279-0085

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