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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Former Somerville and Cambridge Teacher Convicted by Jury of Child Pornography Charges

BOSTON – Following a five-day trial, a former Somerville and Cambridge elementary school teacher was convicted today of child pornography charges.

Josh Wairi, 28, of Somerville, was convicted by a federal jury of possession of child pornography and transportation of child pornography.  Wairi was acquitted of three counts of production and attempted production of child pornography.  U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for July 29, 2015.

Wairi, a former fifth and sixth grade teacher in the Somerville and the Cambridge Public Schools, used his email account to trade and receive images and videos of child pornography, and also uploaded images and videos of children being sexually exploited.Furthermore, Wairi transferred the images and videos of child pornography to other users.Wairi possessed more than 27,000 images and over 530 videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.Wairi admitted to viewing videos and images of minor children for sexual self-gratification.

The charge of transportation of child pornography provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and no greater than 20 years in prison, a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  The charge of possession of child pornography provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the 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; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Colonel Timothy P. Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Somerville Police Chief David Fallon; and Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Hass, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus and Seth B. Orkand of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.

The case is 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 better 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/

Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information regarding this case should call (617) 748-3274.

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Updated May 5, 2015