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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 24, 2022

Registered Sex Offender Arrested for Child Pornography

Defendant previously convicted of child sex offenses in New Hampshire

BOSTON – A lifetime Level 1 sex offender was arrested and charged by criminal complaint yesterday for possession of child pornography.

Eric Robert Johnson, 49, of Billerica, was charged with one count of possession of child pornography. Johnson will appear in federal court in Boston at 1 p.m. this afternoon.

According to the charging document, a search of Johnson’s residence resulted in the recovery of a laptop computer and other electronic devices, including multiple hard drives that were found hidden in Johnson’s ceiling. A preliminary review revealed that at least one of Johnson’s electronic devices contained images and videos depicting child pornography, including videos of children as young as approximately six to ten-years-old. Forensic review of the devices remains ongoing.

Additionally, according to the criminal complaint, during the search of Johnson’s residence, diapers were found and at least three mutilated dolls with the vaginal region sliced to make a hole in each doll’s body. Two children’s backpacks containing various children’s clothing including bathing suits and a nightgown were found under his bed and a bag of children’s costumes along with a sex toy were recovered in the basement.

Johnson was previously convicted in 1992 on state charges in New Hampshire of two counts of rape of a child with force.

The charge of possession of child pornography after a prior conviction for a sex offense provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a mandatory minimum of 10 years, at least 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 United States Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Billerica Police Chief Roy Frost made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Mackenzie Duane of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

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

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 identity and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.

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

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated February 24, 2022