CLOSE

This is a six-month review of the most-read crime stories in Collier County on naplesnews.com from March 2019 to August 2019. Vonna Keomanyvong, vonna.keomanyvong@naplesnews.com; 239-213-5380

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

A former Marco Island firefighter sentenced to state probation this year for sending explicit photos to a teenager is back in jail.

Nicholas Macchiarolo, 28, was booked on the charge of retail theft under $100 Friday by Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputies after being accused of shoplifting at a Naples Target.

Macchiarolo was transported to the Naples Jail Center where he remained in custody as of Sunday evening. Judge Joseph Foster granted an emergency motion to set bond at $5,000 Monday morning. The next court date is scheduled for Dec. 18.

Macchiarolo pleaded no contest in February to the charge of using a two-way communication device to commit a felony after being accused of sending pictures of his genitalia to a then 16-year-old girl.

Macchiarolo was sentenced to three years of state probation, no contact with the victim or the victim’s family and required to undergo a psychosexual evaluation. Macchiarolo was also ordered to pay fines and fees adding up $2,789.

More: Ex-Marco firefighter told detectives city gym was 'where everyone comes to hook up'

As part of the plea, the two other felony charges against Macchiarolo, the transmission of an image harmful to a minor and use of a computer to seduce, solicit, lure or entice a child for pornography, were not prosecuted.

The prosecution report submitted to the state attorney’s office by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office included digital evidence from the girl's phone and a unique identifier from Macchiarolo's Snapchat account to support he committed those acts. It also included a sworn interview he gave detectives before he was arrested in May 2018.

After initially denying he acted inappropriately, Macchiarolo was caught lying to the detectives before he confessed to sending the graphic content. Although he contended that he thought the teenager was at least 21-years-old at the time, detectives poked holes in his claims by noting how long he knew her family.

“She’s 10 years behind you, so you couldn’t possibly have thought that it was a few years because if you were 16 she would have been six,” Sgt. Wade Williams said during the May 4, 2018, sworn interview. “That’s not even close, man. Nobody’s gonna buy that so that’s what I’m saying is that you can try to sell bull---- to people, but they’re not gonna buy it if it’s not sellable.”

Macchiarolo’s interview with detectives also brought to life another startling admission: Marco Island public safety employees were having sex in a private gym.

More: Marco firefighter takes plea for sending lewd photos to teen

He made the statement after detectives inquired how the teen could have guessed that his semen would be found there. He denied having any physical sexual contact with the teen.

“I mean yeah I’ve, I’ve had sex with other girls besides my wife in there,” Macchiarolo said according to a transcript from a May 4, 2018, sworn interview. “Um, it’s kind of (the) place to, excuse me, um, to go, I guess. That’s the typical place in this department.”

Deputy Chief Dave Batiato previously told the Naples Daily News it was impossible to prove Macchiarolo’s claims because the cameras outside the gym were not connected at the time.

More: Marco Island Fire Department requests CCSO investigate sexual misconduct claims

The Fire Department asked the Collier County Sheriff’s Office to investigate more allegations of misconduct after a person in contact with the victim provided the Daily News with a text message string between the victim and a person they claimed was a Marco Island firefighter.

The text message shows the person attempting to arrange a meetup with the victim at a hotel.

The city of Marco Island terminated Macchiarolo’s employment in March after he entered his plea.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/crime/2019/11/24/ex-firefighter-probation-sending-teen-illicit-photos-arrested/4292802002/