Charlestown Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

October 18, 2012
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A Charlestown man was held on $20,000 cash bail at his arraignment on charges on Monday that he possessed child pornography on his laptop computer and a portable flash drive, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

The bail imposed by Charlestown District Court Judge Lawrence McCormick was less than the $100,000 recommended by Assistant District Attorney Gloriann Moroney, chief of Conley’s Child Protection Unit. McCormick did, however, order James Mansfield (D.O.B. 5/10/65) to abide by Moroney’s recommended conditions of release if he posts that amount.

Mansfield must reside only at his family home if he posts bail, McCormick said. He must have no unsupervised contact with his children and no contact at all with any other children under the age of 18. He must be fitted with a GPS monitoring device within 24 hours of his release and report to probation officers three times per week. He must also refrain from using alcohol or drugs, must abide by a curfew of 8:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., and must have no contact with any victims or witnesses in his case.

“These charges and the facts that support them just shock the conscience,” Conley said. “They’re a reminder of the insidious nature of child pornography, the harm it causes to its victims, and our duty to protect those innocents from further exploitation.”

Boston Police detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit late last week received a “cybertip” from Massachusetts State Police regarding online chats in which Mansfield was allegedly engaged. The chats were graphic in their discussion of sexual activity with young boys. State Police forwarded the tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which had first received it.

Information in the chat transcript led investigators directly to Mansfield’s iPhone and, soon after, his home address. Boston Police executed a search warrant there on Friday evening. After recovering more than 100 images depicting children under the age of 16 on the computer and flash drive, Boston Police arrested him on two counts of possessing child pornography, a felony punishable by up to five years in state prison.

“I know parents struggle with conversations like this, but there’s never a bad time to remind your kids that they can come to you about anything,” Conley said. “Explain to them that they can tell you about their problems and fears, and make sure they know that no one who really cares for them would want them to keep a secret from you. But most important, make it clear that they won’t get in trouble for telling you about something that makes them uncomfortable.”

Anyone with information on child pornography or enticement can file a cybertip with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at www.cybertip.org.

Kate Lagana is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Mansfield, 47, a Boston Transportation Department manager pleaded not guilty to child pornography charges at his arraignment in Charlestown District Court Monday.  He was removed from his job without pay by Mayor Thomas Menino.

Mansfield is represented by attorney James Cipoletta.  He will return to court on Nov. 15.