TEACHER/CAMP COUNSELOR CHARGED WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSE
BOSTON, Mass. - A North Billerica man was charged today in federal court with Possession of Child Pornography.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston, announced today that LAWRENCE FOLLETT, 46, of North Billerica, was charged in a criminal complaint with Possession of Child Pornography.
The Complaint alleges that on or about June 24, 2009, FOLLETT knowingly possessed matter which contained visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. According to court documents, FOLLETT had previously been employed as a 4th Grade teacher at the Blanchard Memorial School in Town of Boxborough, Mass. and also previously worked during the summer at Camp Moosilauke, a New Hampshire summer residential camp for boys.
United States Attorney Ortiz said, “We have an obligation to ensure that individuals who hold positions of trust in our community are held accountable for their actions. The alleged conduct in this case is unacceptable, particularly for an individual who is entrusted to teach children.”
“ICE aggressively uses its investigative authorities to protect our communities from those who seek to sexually exploit the most vulnerable members of our society - our children,” said Foucart. “ICE will continue to work tirelessly to identify child predators who mistakenly believe the Internet shields them from detection.”
If convicted on these charges, FOLLETT faces up to 10 years imprisonment, to be followed by up to lifetime supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and INTERPOL of Berne, Switzerland. Significant assistance was provided by the Billerica and Boxborough Police Departments, as well as the Boxborough School Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Yoon of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/
The details contained in the Complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.