Support the news

32 Mass. Arrests Made In Child Porn Investigation03:07
Download

Play
This article is more than 7 years old.

Thirty-two people are facing charges following what’s being called the largest child pornography sweep in Massachusetts history. The 32 offenders are from across the state — the oldest is 62, the youngest, 17.

All of the suspects are charged with possession and/or dissemination of child pornography --sharing what Massachusetts State Police Colonel Marian McGovern called "awful images."

While officials would not identify the types of jobs the suspects held, they were described as regular people — some white collar, some blue collar workers.

"These are trusted adults, family members, extended family, aunts, uncles. I don't want to dismiss 'stranger danger,' but these people are the people we know," said Dan Fagan, of Boston Police's Crimes Against Children Unit. "These are trusted adults around our families, around your kids, around my kids, and that's what we're looking at."

Bruce Foucart, with the Department of Homeland Security, says a newly opened crime lab provided investigators with resources to discover pornography on computers in homes.

“With resources such as those at our lab, law enforcement agents are now able to examine evidence criminals don’t even realize they have left behind,” Foucart said.

McGovern says sexual predators often commit the crimes "under the cover of their own homes."

"And if it wasn't for the intricacies that derive from the special talents of these investigators, we wouldn't know what was going on and children would be abused again and again," McGovern said.

Authorities say those arrested amount to only the tip of the iceberg, and that exploitation of children is made even more prevalent through technology and the Internet.

“There are thousands of people that we know of, and who knows how many we could find if we had the resources to really go out there and search among all resources, all sources on the Internet,” said Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Christina Miller.

Officials say the investigation is ongoing — more criminal complaints from the sweep are pending and more arrests are expected.

This program aired on April 10, 2012.

Delores Handy Twitter Reporter
Delores Handy was formerly a host and reporter at WBUR.

More…

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news