U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
February 14, 2013
Franklin, Mass., Teacher Charged with Possession of Child Pornography
Stephen Hickey of Warwick, R.I., ordered not to have contact with minors, including students at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin, Mass.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Stephen Hickey, 60, of Warwick, R.I., was released to home confinement with electronic monitoring on unsecured bond following an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence today on a federal charge of possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Kevin M. Niland, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
Hickey was arrested today by agents from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force after, according to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed with the court, a court authorized search of Hickey’s home resulted in the seizure of a computer which allegedly contains images of child pornography.
In addition, according to the affidavit, Hickey allegedly told investigators that he previously ordered and received DVDs containing child pornography, but destroyed them upon learning that another individual had been arrested for allegedly receiving similar products from the same company.
As a condition of his release , Hickey was ordered by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond to have no contact with minors, including students at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin, Mass., where he is employed as a teacher.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Possession of child pornography is punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison followed by up to 3 years supervised release.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adi Goldstein and Lee H. Vilker.
The ICAC Task Force is a Department of Justice grant-funded program administered by the state police, and is comprised of detectives from the Rhode Island State Police, Providence, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick, Johnston, and Pawtucket Police Departments, and federal agents from ICE-HSI, United States Postal Inspectors’ Office, and United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The objective of the ICAC Task Force is to form strong working relationships among federal, state and local law enforcement in order to effectively and efficiently prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute online child exploitation and child pornography crimes.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”