A mother claims Stacie Laughton’s lover sexually abused her young child and that daycare owners did nothing to stop the abuse in a lawsuit filed in the Middlesex Superior Court in Massachusetts.
Former Democratic state Rep. Laughton, 39, is facing state and federal charges for accepting child sex abuse images from Lindsay Groves, 36, the Hudson woman who worked at the Tyngsborough, Mass. daycare, Creative Minds.
Investigators say Groves used her job at the daycare to gain access to young children for the graphic photos she shared with Laughton. Court records released in the case include a text conversation with a seeming admission from Laughton that the pair had abused children in the past and planned to do it again.
“I was asking because I know we’ve had some back-and-forth, and I know we initially said we do nothing with kids ever again, and you said you were afraid that if we had kids if they would go back and tell the parents the same with the kids you work with,” Laughton texted to Groves.
Robert Norton, the lawyer for the mother suing Creative Minds, said investigators are likely looking to add more charges to the case against Laughton and Groves, including potential sex abuse charges. Representatives for the U. S. Attorney’s Office in Boston would not comment on the case other than to say the investigation continues.
“There could be many more charges,” Norton said.
As for the lawsuit, Nortson said the Creative Minds owners failed to act despite being told about Groves taking explicit pictures and, in one case, abusing the children in her care.
“They did nothing about the photos, and the daycare owners were put on notice,” Norton said.
The mother filed the lawsuit as Jane Doe to protect her child’s identity. The attorney for Creative Minds could not be reached. Representatives for the daycare did not respond to a request for comment.
As early as 2018, a parent told Creative Minds staff that Groves was “inappropriately touching children,” the lawsuit states. “Despite being told this information, Creative Minds did nothing to protect the children from Lindsay Groves.”
Norton said Groves started working at Creative Minds in Tyngsboro in 2017 despite having a criminal history that should have barred her from passing a Massachusetts background check. “She couldn’t pass a CORI check.”
Groves’ Massachusetts record was not immediately available, but news reports from 2021 indicate she was convicted on a felony theft charge in Nashua.
In 2022, Creative Minds owners were again given disturbing information about Groves, this time that she was taking explicit photos. Again, the daycare owners did nothing, according to the lawsuit. “Creative Minds took no action to remove or prevent Lindsay Groves from having access to the children, and, in fact, continued to allow her to be alone with the children.”
One of the many strange details of the investigation is that the 2022 report that Groves was taking explicit photos of the children at Creative Minds came from Laughton.
Norton said Laughton’s 2022 report was not investigated thoroughly but instead became part of the stalking case that put Laughton in jail for weeks after the 2022 election. At the time, Laughton was barred from contacting Groves.
Tyngsborough Police did not respond to NHJournal’s request for comment. They did confirm to WCVB in Boston the department had been informed about the 2022 allegation but as part of the stalking investigation into Laughton.
“The Tyngsborough Police Department can confirm that it did respond on Aug. 26, 2022, to investigate allegations of a violation of a protective order and stalking based on an order out of Nashua District Court involving parties named in the recent Department of Justice case,” the department said in a statement. “As a result of an investigation, it was determined that no criminal violations involving the stalking/protective order had occurred.”
Groves and Laughton were arrested last month in the child sex abuse image case, a culmination of their highly unusual relationship. The pair have been involved in multiple court cases and no-contact orders in the last few years. One case last year landed Laughton in jail for stalking Groves right after Laughton had won reelection to the legislature. According to the court records in the stalking case, Laughton was publicly calling Groves a pedophile and using social media to amplify that accusation.
As Laughton was receiving the child sex abuse photos from Groves, the disgraced lawmaker was engaging in sexually explicit text conversations with Groves about having sex with children, according to court records.
Laughton started showing other people the photos being sent by Groves last month, and texting the photos to those people, according to the complaint filed in federal court. The people who got the photos were disturbed by the images and reported them to the police, according to the complaint.
Nashua Democrats backed Laughton, the state’s first transgender lawmaker, in three state representative elections. Last year, state party chairman Ray Buckley listed Laughton among the “LGBTQIA+ Democrats who are the backbone of the Granite State.”
On Wednesday, Buckley tweeted his condemnation of his fellow Democrat whose election he repeatedly supported:
“The latest revelation of apparent horrific criminal activity by Stacie Laughton more than underscores
1. She [sic] should be put away for a very long time.
2. Parties should be able to appeal to the BLC or courts to bar egregious individuals from their ticket.”