Family files claim: Daughter was sent lewd photos by now-former firefighter
The family of a teenage girl who was sent lewd photos by a Marco Island firefighter has filed a notice of claim against the city and its fire department.
A letter from the Law Office of Roca & Linares announced the intent to pursue a claim for injuries and damages resulting from negligence and the actions of former Marco Island firefighter Nicholas Macchiarolo, who pleaded no contest nearly two months ago to a third-degree felony charge of unlawfully using a two-way communication device to facilitate or commission a felony.
The notice of claim is the first step in pursuing a lawsuit against a governmental entity in Florida. A lawsuit can proceed six months after the claim is submitted.
As part of the plea deal, two counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor and one count of obscene use of a computer to seduce, solicit or lure a child were dropped. Macchiarolo, 27, was sentenced to three years of state probation, no contact with the victim or the victim’s family and the requirement of a psychosexual evaluation. He was also assessed fines and fees adding up $2,789.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office arrested Macchiarolo in May 2018 after the girl's mother contacted authorities about fears that her daughter was engaging in sexual activity.
In an interview with detectives, the girl told them that she had known Macchiarolo for years and only recently had their conversations turned sexual. Detectives learned that Macchiarolo had sent at least two pictures of his genitalia to the girl, who was 16-years-old at the time, in addition to talking about sex acts.
Macchiarolo admitted to detectives during an interview May 4 at the Marco Island Fire Department that he sent the photos and had sexually-charged conversations on Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, according to the arrest report. Macchiarolo, however, said that he believed she was 21-years-old at the time of the incidents.
One week after taking the plea deal, the Fire Department terminated Macchiarolo.
“Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department takes very seriously the conduct of its employees,” Fire-Rescue Chief Mike Murphy wrote in a prepared statement. “FF/EMT Macchiarolo has been given written notice of termination effective immediately. The actions and admission of by FF/EMT Macchiarolo are not consistent with the integrity, trustworthiness and decorum expected of a Firefighter of the City of Marco Island.”
The notice letter to the city also indicates that the family's attorneys are also investigating "the existence of any additional parties who may have involvement in the subject incident."
This is also not the first time in recent years that the city has been put on notice regarding potential litigation.
Last year, the woman involved in the police department's sex on duty scandal also filed a notice of claim for damages that resulted from the negligence in the hiring, supervision and retention of officers.
The incidents involving the police department resulted in two officers, Sgts. James Inlow and Neil Giansanti, resigning while under investigation and a third officer, Kevin Hennings, being terminated for engaging in sex acts while on the clock.
A fourth officer, Brian Granneman, received a reprimand for knowing of Inlow's actions but not reporting it to another supervisor. Granneman was promoted months later to a supervisory position.