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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Amesbury Man and Salisbury Woman Arrested for Child Pornography Offenses, Including Production

Defendants made plans to meet to sexually abuse an infant together

BOSTON – An Amesbury man and a Salisbury woman were arrested and charged separately in federal court in Boston in connection with various child pornography offenses, including the sexual exploitation of an infant.

Thomas Cross, 28, of Amesbury, and Desiree Daigle, 23, of Salisbury, were arrested on Nov. 15, 2018, in the course of two separate search warrant executions. Cross was charged with possession, receipt, and distribution of child pornography and Daigle was charged with sexually exploiting a child. On Nov. 19, 2018, Daigle appeared in federal court and was ordered detained pending trial. Cross appeared in federal court on Nov. 20, 2018, and after a hearing, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler took the matter of detention under advisement.

According to the charging documents, on Nov. 15, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Cross’s home and seized several electronic devices. Upon reviewing the devices on scene, law enforcement observed files containing child pornography, as well as chats between Cross and a person he identified as Daigle, in which they exchange various child pornography files. Some of the images depict an infant known to Daigle, apparently taken in Daigle’s home. In the course of the chat, the two discuss plans for Cross to meet the child in person so that they can sexually abuse the child together. Both Cross and Daigle admitted to exchanging child pornography with each other. Forensic analysis of devices seized from both defendants is ongoing.

The charge of sexual exploitation of children provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison. The charges of distribution and receipt of child pornography each provide for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 20 years in prison. The charge of possession of child pornography provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison. All of the charges provide for a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Amesbury, North Andover, Salisbury, Arlington, Billerica, Methuen, and Haverhill Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Lelling’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and a member of the Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated November 21, 2018