The first openly transgender lawmaker in the US is facing federal charges in connection with sexual exploitation at a Tyngsborough, Massachusetts daycare center. A teacher at the daycare who assisted the lawmaker in obtaining sexual pictures of the children has also been arrested and was charged in June. In a press release, the Justice Department referred to trans-identified male Stacie Laughton as "a New Hampshire woman."
Stacie Laughton, 39, has been federally charged with one count of sexual exploitation of children and aiding and abetting by the US Attorney's Office District of Massachusetts. Lindsay Groves, Laughton's former girlfriend, was the alleged teacher at the center who helped Laughton, a former NH lawmaker, gather the images and has been charged with child exploitation.
Groves allegedly used bathroom breaks for the children, such as diaper changes, to take pictures of the children in the bathroom and would send the photos to Laughton.
There were over 2,500 text messages between Laughton and Groves on the phones obtained by the prosecution. These included at least four sexually explicit pictures of children between three and five years of age.
According to the Boston Herald, in one alleged text from Groves, she said to Laughton, "I want to do this with you with one of my kids." The text was in conjunction with a picture focused on the genitals of a prepubescent boy.
Laughton allegedly responded, "I also need to be honest I mean yes that picture was hot of that little boy but you probably have gotten the picture by now that I prefer little girls (sic), but he is cute."
Other texts allegedly talked about the couple hooking up with each other as well as with children.
Groves was employed by the daycare from 2017 up until June of this year, according to the Boston Herald.
On Monday, the mother of one of the boys at the daycare filed a lawsuit against the business. The suit said, "As a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s negligence and carelessness as well as the invasion of his privacy, the plaintiff’s minor son was caused to suffer, and will continue to suffer."
The suit alleges the daycare had been told, as early as 2018 by a parent, that Groves "was inappropriately touching children under their care" and that the business "did nothing to protect the children."
According to the US Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts, "The charge of sexual exploitation of children provides for a sentence of at least 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000."
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