UNION LEADER – Former state Rep. Stacie Marie Laughton of Derry, the first openly transgender person elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives, faces a federal charge of child sexual exploitation connected to an arrest last month by Nashua police on charges she [sic] allegedly distributed child sexual abuse images, officials said.
Laughton, 39, was charged Tuesday with one count of sexual exploitation of children — and aiding and abetting. She [sic] will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.
The arrest of Laughton stemmed from the same investigation last month that led to the arrest of Lindsay Groves, 38, of Hudson.
Groves was arrested and charged June 22 with one count of sexual exploitation of children and one count of distribution of child pornography. Following a detention hearing on July 13, the court took the federal government’s motion for detention under advisement.
Groves remains in state custody in New Hampshire.
According to the charging documents, a preliminary forensic review of Groves’ cellphone allegedly revealed over 10,000 text messages between Laughton and Groves that included discussion about, and transfer of, explicit photographs that Groves had taken of children while employed at Creative Minds day care in Tyngsborough, Mass., including at least four sexually explicit images of children who appear to be approximately 3 to 5 years old, as well as explicit descriptions of sex with each other and others, including children.
The investigation remains ongoing.
According to the charging documents, beginning in May 2022 through June, Groves allegedly took nude images of children at the day care and sent the photos to an individual — now identified as Laughton following Tuesday’s federal complaint filing — with whom she was previously in an intimate relationship.
According to the affidavit, Groves “allegedly used natural bathroom breaks for the children,” such as “routine diaStacie Marie Laughtonper pull-up changes prior to naptime … to take multiple photos of the prepubescent children in a private bathroom and then sent the photos to the (former intimate partner) via text message” … READ MORE [subscription may be required].