Fox News reports that a transgender former New Hampshire state representative has been arrested on child pornography charges.
The suspect is 39-year-old Stacie-Marie Laughton. Born Barry Charles Laughton Jr., Laughton is a biological male who self-identifies as a transgender woman.
Laughton was elected to the New Hampshire legislature, as a Democrat, in 2012. But, at the time, he was unable to serve because he was still on probation for a credit card fraud conviction that he received four years earlier. The probation followed a four-month stint in prison.
In fact, it turns out that Laughton has a significant criminal history, of which this credit card fraud conviction is only a small part.
In 2015, for example, Laughton was arrested after threatening to bomb the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. Laughton claimed that "mental illness" was the cause of his actions.
Then, in 2021, Laughton was arrested for misusing the state's 911 texting system. Several times he texted Nashua 911, and each time first responders found no emergency. Laughton tried to claim that someone else was the source of the texts.
Despite this criminal history - which is only partially outlined above - Laughton was, once again, elected to New Hampshire's legislature in 2022. But, also once again, he was unable to serve due to several charges that he was facing for allegedly stalking a woman. As a result of these charges, Laughton resigned 15 days after his successful election.
Now, Laughton is in the midst of another run-in with the law. This time, Laughton has been accused of distributing images portraying child sexual abuse.
Sgt. John Cinelli, a public information officer with Nashua Police Department, said:
They spoke with reporting parties that indicated Laughton distributed sexually explicit images of children. Detectives from the special investigations division were assigned to further the investigation. They applied for and were granted a warrant for Laughton’s arrest.
The Boston Herald provides more details on the situation.
Per the outlet:
The Nashua Police, which also disseminated a press release on Groves’ arrest, announced Laughton’s arrest late Thursday evening. While police indicated to local media that the two cases are related, the details were sparse. The affidavit filed in Grove’s case alleges that she at least texted to an unidentified “Person 1” four images — four also being the number of counts against Laughton — of nude children, both boys and girls, who she worked with at the daycare center. The details suggest that Laughton is “Person 1” in the federal affidavit, but no law enforcement source has confirmed this.
Groves is 38-year-old Lindsay Groves, the partner, romantically speaking, of Laughton. Groves is a former child daycare employee who has been arrested for allegedly sexually exploiting children and distributing child pornography.
It is reported that federal prosecutors have recovered over 2,500 texts between Groves and Laughton, which included pictures that Groves took of the children whom Groves was supposed to be caring for as a child daycare employee.
It is unclear when Laughton will appear in court for arraignment.