Morro Bay restaurateur facing child pornography, weapons charges

February 14, 2024


The owner of Giovanni’s Fish Market in Morro Bay is currently battling six felony charges, including possession of child pornography and possession of assault weapons. If convicted on all charges, Giovanni DeGarimore faces up to 18 years in prison.

After discovering child pornography on his computer, DeGarimore’s former girlfriend took photos of his computer screen and drove the evidence to the Atascadero Police Department, according to court records. CalCoastNews is referring to the witness as, Jane, to protect her privacy.

Jane told investigators she first found what appeared to be child pornography on DeGarimore’s phone while they were on a dive trip in the Channel Islands in Oct. 2022. While they were both intoxicated, Jane was flipping through photos of their trip on DeGarimore’s phone when she found a provocative photo of a young girl.

Giovanni DeGarimore

In his defense, DeGarimore claimed a friend had played a prank on him, and Jane let it go.

Less than a year later, while looking through DeGarimore’s computer on July 7, 2023, Jane found two photos of apparent child pornography. In one of the photos, the girl appeared to be about 8 years old.

Officer Craig Martineau tracked the photos to a porn site in Albania. Martineau then entered DeGarimore’s personal contact information in the Internet Crimes Against Children Data System, which sent the officer several “cyber tips” along with reports.

A Dec. 24, 2019 cyber tip from Facebook was based on files shared in a group chat. There were two photos included in the report: DeGarimore’s profile picture and a picture of a “pubescent minor engaged in lascivious exhibition,” according to a police report.

On Nov. 14, 2023, officers served search warrants on DeGarimore’s primary residence on San Marcos Road in Atascadero, his car and his residences in Cambria and Bradley where they seized five firearms and multiple electronic devices. Investigators also discovered three photos showing minors engaging in sexual conduct, according to a police report.

A review of DeGarimore’s search history revealed more than a dozen times he searched for sexual content. Specifically, he searched for crying rough teen sex, teen first creampie, female genital mutilation photos, guy fucks sleeping girl, jailbait forum and tween girls.

Officers arrested DeGarimore, 50, on Nov. 14, 2023, on charges of possession of pornography showing a child “engaged in and simulating sexual conduct,” driving with a concealed firearm, possession of a short-barreled shotgun and three charges of possession of an assault weapon. After DeGarimore posted a $200,000 bail, deputies released him from jail.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office filed a notice they plan to use Evidence Code 1108 in the case, which allows prosecutors to bring in evidence of the defendant’s past sexual misconduct. DeGarimore’s criminal history includes charges for willful cruelty to a child, terrorist threats, false imprisonment, drunk driving and three counts of battery.

On the civil side, during the past three years, attorney Jeffrey Stulberg filed four sexual harassment cases against DeGarimore’s business.

In June 2021, Stulberg filed three sexual harassment lawsuits against Giovanni’s Fish Market, each one related to alleged unwanted sexual advances made towards underage high school students. In each case, the Morro Bay High School students were employed under a student work permit program.

The first alleged victim, who was 16 when she was hired as a dish washer, complained that another kitchen employee known as Diego would flirt, corner her and inappropriately touch her chest and buttocks, according to the lawsuit. The teen complained to her managers and reported the behavior to the police.

“Diego admitted touching plaintiff when interviewed by the police, but claimed it was only a hug and that he bumped into her ‘simply to say hi,’ ” the lawsuit says. “Charges were never filed.”

She later quit citing harassment.

Another plaintiff was 14 years old when she went to work for Giovanni’s Fish Market. She said an adult male employee sexually harassed her and that the harassment included unwanted touching. She reported the issue to DeGarimore, and quit after he did not take action, the lawsuit says.

“Owner Giovanni DeGarimore characterized it as a ‘he said, she said’ situation and implied that the other employee’s reputation was more important than plaintiff’s safety,” according to the lawsuit.

In the prior three cases and a forth case related to an adult woman, Giovanni’s Fish Market entered into private settlement agreements with the plaintiffs.

DeGarimore is scheduled for a pre-preliminary hearing on March 5 on the child pornography and weapons charges.

If you have further information about this or other incidents related to DeGarimore or Giovanni’s Fish Market please contact reporter Karen Velie at (805) 234-1703.

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Insane News! both my Sister and my Daughter have worked at Gio’s, albeit many years ago. Both are in shock~ How very sad. If this is all true, he will be gone for a long time.

it is restaurateur, spelling is correct. People also ask

Which is correct restaurateur or restauranteur?

It would make sense that the person who owns or manages a restaurant would be known as a “restauranter” or “restauranteur.” But, neither of those are correct. The proper spelling is restaurateur.Nov 26, 2018

This is NOT about nomenclature.

Does anyone know if Giovanni’s Fish Market is any way related to Pier 46 in Templeton?

Yes they’re related


Same father, different moms. So half brothers.

No. They are owned by different people.

Gio + Pedo = Geppetto

Don are you a teenage girl

Having known Giovanni personally for nearly 20 years, the person described in this report seems unrecognizable. Giovanni has been a pillar in the community, known for his generosity, integrity, and the positive impact of his business. It’s essential to question and critically examine the nature of the evidence against him, especially in cases involving digital content, where misinterpretation and wrongful attribution can easily occur.The seriousness of the charges cannot be understated, nor can the potential for digital evidence to be manipulated or taken out of context. In my years of knowing Giovanni, he has consistently shown himself to be a person of good moral standing, making these allegations profoundly out of character.Furthermore, the article does not delve into the complexities behind the weapons charges, which, without context, can paint a misleading picture. It’s not uncommon for individuals to be unaware of the full extent of the law or to find themselves inadvertently in violation of technicalities.The rush to judgment without a thorough understanding of the facts, the law, and the individual’s character does a disservice to both Giovanni and the principle of justice. As this situation unfolds, I urge readers to keep an open mind, consider the potential for wrongful accusation, and remember the foundational legal principle of innocence until proven guilty.In closing, my support for Giovanni is based on a long-standing knowledge of his character, not a dismissal of the legal process. It’s in the spirit of fairness and justice that I advocate for a careful, unbiased examination of the facts.

Little too much history for your theory to fly. At least when he’s in state prison, for a long time, Stulberg can buy a new boat, maybe. The Morro Bay waterfront owners are a criminal gang with undue influence on City government, including the Police Department.

Still? The Waterfront Mafia?

Having known Gio for roughly the same amount of time, these charges are not surprising.

very well written and clearly crafted at great expense by the fish guy’s legal aid. is this guy don supposed to be the famous Don Giovanni?

Unless you’re with the guy 24/7, you have no idea of what he’s like in private. There’s the old saying that “character is defined by how you behave when no one is looking.” Well, we now have some idea of how DeGarimore was (allegedly) behaving when you weren’t around. Instead of lecturing us, why don’t you approach your close, close buddy and ask, “Dude, WTF?”

Well, His Ex took pics of the evidence to the Police. and he downplayed having actual child porn “As a prank” but kept it on his phone. then when to police searched his computer there was more, and he had a sawed off shotgun driving with a concealed firearm, possession of a short-barreled shotgun and three charges of possession of an assault weapon, and  DeGarimore’s criminal history includes charges for willful cruelty to a child, terrorist threats, false imprisonment, drunk driving and three counts of battery. But, you either knew of this, or you didn’t. If you knew about this and didn’t turn him in, you should be charged with aiding and abetting, or if you didn’t know about any of this, your entire post was a comedic attempt at a character reference of someone with no character.