Sexual exploitation of a child charges against Cobb Deputy
Chatting about performing sexual acts with children on a social media website has landed a Cobb County Sheriff’s Deputy in jail. According to investigators, Peter Bilardello, a 16-year veteran of the force, was arrested at his Marietta home and booked into the county jail after being charged with two felonies: sexual exploitation of a child and distribution of child porn.
Authorities were tipped off about child sexual abuse material being shared on a MeWe account in 2019. Phone records linked to the social media account were connected to 50-year-old Bilardello. His arrest warrant states, “The chats also show that said accused sent photos to other users he was talking to, which photos displayed prepubescent children involved in sexual acts with adults.”
After receiving a search warrant, MeWe responded to authorities with records of Bilardello’s alleged online conversations. Officers proceeded with a search warrant at Bilardello’s home, where he rejected claims of having sexual contact with a child.
Bilardello’s arrest warrant states, “During that time said accused admitted to owning the MeWe account and said that he was the only one who controlled it. Said accused also admitted to chatting about sexual acts with children, but stated it was fantasy and that he was never hands-on with a child, nor had he uploaded the images.”
Per jail records, Bilardello was released late Thursday on $100,000 bond. In a statement from the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, Bilardello was placed on unpaid administrative leave and his badge, ID and county-issued weapons were confiscated.
According to POST, the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council, Bilardello has no prior discipline history prior to this incident.