Chaos erupted at a Massachusetts courtroom during the first court appearance of a daycare worker accused of sending photos of naked children to a trans former politician.
Lindsay Groves, 38, appeared in court on Wednesday to face accusations that she took nude images of children aged three to five at the Creative Minds Early Learning Center in Tyngsboro, about 35 miles northwest of Boston.
Prosecutors say the New Hampshire resident took the photos in a private bathroom during breaks before nap time and texted them to someone ‘with whom she was previously in an intimate relationship’ and shared 2,500 texts with.
The investigation into Groves also led to the arrest of Stacie Laughton, 39, who is believed to be the first transgender person elected to a state Legislature in the nation. She is charged with distributing child pornography.
Several parents were present during Groves’ first court appearance at Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston, with one of them yelling at her as she was being lead away from the courtroom at the end of the hearing.
Lindsay Groves, 38, is accused of sending photos of naked children to a trans former politician.
A mother present at the hearing, Rosemary Denomme, spoke to the press outside the courtroom, saying ‘We just all hope that she is just taken down’
The investigation into Groves also led to the arrest of Stacie Laughton, 39, who is believed to be the first transgender person elected to a state Legislature in the nation
‘I want to f****** kill that b****,’ said an unidentified tearful mother from the gallery, as reported by the Boston Herald.
‘You need to rot in jail!’
The mother was then escorted out by a U.S. Marshal and the people she was with, who tried to calm her down, per local reports.
Another mother present at the hearing, Rosemary Denomme, spoke to NBC10 outside the courtroom, saying ‘We just all hope that she is just taken down.’
Denomme said her four-year-old daughter attended the day care and still doesn’t know if her child is one of the victims.
‘As any parent would, you want to grab her, but you don’t want to get kicked out,’ she said of how she felt during the hearing.
‘I came down like any parent would, you want to follow this and I want to fight the fight for my daughter and all those kids.’
Laughton was elected in 2012, but was unable to serve after her criminal past emerged in which she was sentenced to probation stemming from a 2008 felony conviction for credit card fraud.
Nashua Police Department began an investigation into the allegations after receiving a tip off.
According to the affidavit, Groves ‘allegedly used natural bathroom breaks for the children,’ such as ‘routine diaper 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’ with an alleged 2,500 texts.
The texts allegedly included discussion of the explicit images and their transfer. They also included at least four sexually explicit images of children between the ages of three to five, per police.
Groves and Laughton, pictured together, were reportedly in a relationship. The former lawmaker was previously arrested for stalking her
The Creative Minds Early Learning Center in Tyngsboro, about 35 miles northwest of Boston
NBC10 previously interviewed a mother who said her son was one of the victims. She claimed police showed her an image of her three-year-old with his pants on his ankles.
Parents were alerted to the situation when Homeland Security officials showed up at their doors last week saying they needed help identifying victims. Investigators reportedly have seen pictures of three male victims and one female.
Despite her criminal past, Laughton still ran for a second term in 2022 and was elected to represent Nashua, New Hampshire.
However, once again, she was unable to take office having been jailed on stalking charges connected to Groves.
Laughton has blamed her past criminal behavior on mental illness and untreated conditions.
She expressed remorse and stated that their actions were completely out of character.
‘I have had a mental illness my whole life, and I guess this was my worst break with it. I was untreated for a long time, and I didn’t have medication,’ Laughton shared in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader after being arrested for making a bomb threat.
‘I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, and it was totally out of character for me. I have put a lot behind me, and I never thought I would do this in a million years.’
Groves is charged with sexual exploitation of children and distribution of child pornography.
The daycare center has reportedly shut down and is cooperating with police.