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Justice News

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

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Norwell Man Indicted for Sexual Exploitation of Children

BOSTON – A federal grand jury indicted a Norwell man today for sexually exploiting children.

Derek Sheehan, 48, was indicted on three counts of sexual exploitation of children. Sheehan was previously charged by criminal complaint with one count of the same offense. He is currently in state custody on related charges pending in the Hingham District Court. According to court documents, Sheehan is also charged - in connection with another victim - in a separate docket in Hingham District Court.

According to the charging documents, on Aug. 17, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Sheehan’s home and seized several electronic devices that allegedly revealed evidence of child pornography, including video of Sheehan abusing children in his home. Given the number of devices seized, the high storage capacity of many of the devices, and the fact that some devices appear to be encrypted, the investigation and forensic review is ongoing.

Members of the public who have questions, concerns, or information about this case should contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 617-748-3274. Anyone with questions about how to talk to their child about sexual abuse should visit the Plymouth County Child Advocacy Center website at

The charge of sexual exploitation of children provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, 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 on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Norwell Police Chief Theodore Ross made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Lelling’s Project Safe Childhood coordinator and a member of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.

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 locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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


Project Safe Childhood
Updated October 25, 2018