Former Daycare Provider Arrested for Making False Statements During Child Exploitation Investigation
BOSTON - A Worcester woman was charged in federal court in Worcester today with lying to federal agents investigating child exploitation offenses which occurred at her home daycare.
Donna Belanger, 49, was charged with making false statements to the FBI about her son’s prior sexual assaults against children and about whether her son had been allowed unsupervised contact with the children in her home daycare center.
According to the criminal complaint affidavit, in February of this year FBI and Worcester Police executed a federal search warrant at the home of Donna Belanger, in connection with the arrest of her son, Brian Belanger, on charges of producing child pornography. During the execution of that warrant, the FBI interviewed Donna Belanger about her knowledge of her son’s prior sexual assaults against children and whether her son had been allowed unsupervised contact with the children in her home day care.
While Donna admitted that her daycare had been shut down in June 2012 after an investigation of claims that her son Brian had sexually assaulted a child attending the daycare, Donna allegedly denied any other knowledge of her son sexually assaulting a child. It further alleges that Donna repeatedly denied that Brian had ever been allowed unsupervised contact with the children in her day care.
According to the affidavit, a subsequent investigation, including interviews of Brian and other witnesses, revealed that Donna knew that her son Brian had previously sexually assaulted a six-year-old neighbor in 2005 and that she had allowed her son to have unsupervised access to the children in her home daycare.
According to the affidavit, Brian Belanger has admitted to sexually assaulting multiple children, both male and female, who had attended his mother’s home daycare center.
Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information regarding this case should call 617-748-3274.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of no more than eight years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the statutory maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Vincent Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Field Division; and Chief Gary J. Gemme of the Worcester Police Department; made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Mark J. Grady and Karin M. Bell of Ortiz’s Worcester Branch Office.
The details contained in the complaint and its supporting affidavit are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and CEOS, 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.