Home News Boston nanny who was on sittercity.com admits to sending, receiving child porn

Boston nanny who was on sittercity.com admits to sending, receiving child porn

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Melissa Hanson

masslive.com

A Boston nanny is facing charges after being accused of sending and receiving images of child sexual abuse, and of talking about such child abuse on social media, authorities said Wednesday.

Stephanie Lak, 36, of Roxbury, during an interview with investigators on Tuesday, admitted to receiving and sending about 100 files of child sexual abuse material and talking about child abuse online with other social media users, according to a statement from the office of Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins.

Stephanie Lak

Lak was arraigned Wednesday in the Roxbury Division of Boston Municipal Court on charges of possession of child pornography and distribution of material of a child in a sex act. Assistant District Attorney Nicole Poirier asked for $50,000 cash bail and Judge Debra A. DelVecchio set cash bail at $5,000 with a series of conditions, including to stay away from children under the age of 18 and have no employment involving childcare, the statement said.

As recently as last month, Lak was active on sittercity.com, an online marketplace for nannies and sitters. She posted as Stephanie Lak on the site, the district attorney’s office said.

Investigators have discovered messages from Lak in which she identifies herself as a nanny. In a virtual conversation, Lak encouraged a caregiver from Minnesota to harm children in his care, volunteering to help him do so, Rollins’ office said.

“There is no bigger betrayal than people tasked with teaching, protecting, or caring for children sexually exploiting and violating them. And to be very clear, possessing and disseminating child pornography hurts children. Do not be fooled. Each still image or video chronicles an act of violence, sexual assault and/or rape. And when those images or videos are shared with other pedophiles online, that child is abused and victimized in perpetuity,’’ said Rollins.

In March, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children contacted the Boston Police Department’s Crimes Against Children unit and reported that eight separate images of child sexual abuse were being trafficked over an IP address in Roxbury. The center had received a CyberTip from MediaLab/Kik that a user had uploaded and shared files believed to be child sexual abuse material, according to the statement from Rollins’ office.

A laptop and three smartphones were seized from Lak’s residence on April 15, officials said.

“The alleged perpetrator in this case is a woman. We as a society need to unlearn many of our ingrained assumptions regarding who commits, and who can be a victim of, sexual assault and rape,” said Rollins. “I am grateful for the vigilance of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and the excellent work by the Boston Police Department’s Crimes Against Children unit and the FBI’s Human Trafficking-Child Exploitation Task Force.”

Rollins is asking any parents and guardians of children who may have been in contact with Lak, and who believe they could be one of Lak’s victims, to email Lakinvestigation@fbi.gov and provide a name and best contact information to get in touch with the investigative team. The district attorney said the identities of victims will be kept confidential.

Lak, who was represented in court by attorney Cory McAlister, is slated to return to court on May 25.

©2021 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit masslive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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