Police & Fire

Former City Liasion Pleads Guilty in Child Pornography Case

James Mansfield, representing BTD at a December 2010 NEWNC meeting. (NEWF Photo)

A former Boston Transportation Department community affairs liasion, James Mansfield, has admitted to possessing multiple specimens of child pornography on his laptop computer and portable storage devices seized by Boston Police last year, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a news release.

Mansfield was a BTD Community Affairs Director and presented at North End neighborhood meetings on transportation issues. The Charlestown resident pleaded guilty to the four counts of possession of child pornography for which he was indicted in February of this year. Those indictments, sought by the chief of the DA’s Child Protection Unit, doubled the number of charges he originally faced after his arrest in October 2012.

Assistant District Attorney Gloriann Moroney recommended a term of 2½ years in a house of correction with one year to serve up front and the balance suspended for a five-year probationary period. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball sentenced him to 2½ years, but suspended the entire sentence for five years. She did impose all of prosecutors’ recommended conditions of release, including orders that he register as a sex offender; wear a GPS monitoring device; have no contact with children under 18 except his own children; refrain from using any computer or internet-accessible device; and remain at least 100 feet from a school near his home and at least 1000 feet from any other school, day care facility, or location where children congregate.

Prosecutors said that if the case went to trial, they would have introduced evidence and testimony to prove that Mansfield was engaged in online chats discussing sexual activity with young boys. The chats were traced to Mansfield’s iPhone, leading to the execution of a search warrant at his home. The evidence would have shown that forensic examinations of Mansfield’s computer and storage devices yielded multiple sexualized images depicting children under 16. The evidence would also have shown that Mansfield agreed to a taped interview with investigators in which he admitted to taking part in the online chats and possessing child pornography.

Also recovered from Mansfield’s computer were photographs of two children under 16 who were known to the defendant. The photographs were not explicit, however, and the criminal charges do not stem from these images. Investigators were able to identify these two children and undertook forensic interviews with both; neither disclosed any inappropriate contact with Mansfield and no evidence of such contact was ever developed during the exhaustive investigation.

“Child pornography is a growing form of criminal activity that depicts the rape and abuse of innocent victims,” Conley said. “Anyone with information on its distribution can file a cybertip with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at CyberTip.org.”

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