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Press Release

Dalton Man Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Children

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Dalton man was sentenced today in federal court in Springfield for sexual exploitation offenses. 

James LaFrance, 65, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni to 16 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release. On July 9, 2021, LaFrance pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual exploitation of children.

On two separate occasions in 2018 and 2019, LaFrance encouraged a 16-year-old girl from Massachusetts, whom he had befriended on the internet, to engage in sexually explicit conduct during video chat sessions. LaFrance recorded the girl’s actions on his computer and provided specific directions as to what she was to do on camera. LaFrance engaged in virtually identical behavior toward a 16-year-old girl from Pennsylvania on two occasions in July 2019. 

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Dalton Police Chief Deanna Strout; Marblehead Police Chief Dennis King; and Newbury Police Chief John R. Lucey, Jr. made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex J. Grant of Mendell’s Springfield Branch Office prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. 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

Updated December 3, 2021

Project Safe Childhood