Defendants in Tyngsborough Daycare Investigation Indicted
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – Two New Hampshire women have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston in connection with the sexual exploitation of children at a daycare in Tyngsborough, Mass.
Lindsay Groves, 38, of Hudson, N.H. and Stacie Marie Laughton, 39, of Nashua, N.H., were indicted on three counts each of sexual exploitation of children. Groves is also charged with one count of distribution of child pornography.
Laughton will appear in federal court in Boston tomorrow, July 28, 2023 at 10:15 a.m. Groves will appear at a later date. The defendants were previously charged by criminal complaint with sexual exploitation of children and distribution of child pornography on June 22, 2023 and July 18, 2023. Both defendants remain in custody.
“Ensuring the safety of our children is one of the highest priorities for this office. The conduct alleged today is horrific and inexplicable. This case is a reminder of how critical it is that we continue to focus on people who prey on our most vulnerable population, children. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will never let up in our efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation. Perpetrators will be rooted out and aggressively pursued by this office,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy.
“These allegations are every parent’s worst nightmare. The individuals in today’s indictments are alleged to have collaborated to take advantage of trusted access to children to create exploitative material,” said Michael J. Krol, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England. “Homeland Security Investigations and our partners will never cease in our pursuit of those who prey upon children.”
According to the charging documents, Groves worked at Creative Minds located in Tyngsborough, Mass. It is alleged that, between May 2022 and June 2023, Groves took nude images of children at the day care and sent the photos to Laughton. Specifically, Groves allegedly used natural bathroom breaks for the children (routine diaper/pull-up changes prior to “naptime”) to take multiple photos of the prepubescent children in a private bathroom and then send the photos to the individual via text message.
According to the charging documents, a preliminary forensic review of Groves’ cellphone allegedly revealed over 10,000 text messages between Laughton and Groves that included discussion about, and transfer of, explicit photographs that Groves had taken of children while employed at Creative Minds daycare – including at least four sexually explicit images of three three-year-old children who were students at the daycare, as well as explicit descriptions of sex with each other and others, including children. The investigation remains ongoing.
Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information regarding this case should call 617-748-3274. Case information, including links to charging documents and victim resources, can be found here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/victim-and-witness-assistance-program/united-states-v-lindsay-groves
The charge of sexual exploitation of children provides for a sentence of at least 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, and distribution of child pornography provides for a sentence of at least five year and up to 20 years in prison. Both offenses provide for at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting U.S. Attorney Levy; HSI Acting SAC Krol; and Nashua (N.H.) Police Chief Kevin Rourke made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire; Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office; and the Hudson, N.H. Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anne Paruti and Jessica L. Soto of the Major Crimes Unit are prosecuting 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.
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.
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Updated July 27, 2023
Project Safe Childhood