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Former NH House Dem Appears to Admit Having Sex With Children in Text

Former Nashua Democratic State Rep. Stacie Laughton talked about raping children and appears to admit having committed the crime in the past, according to the federal complaint filed this week.

“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 lover and co-defendant, Lindsay Groves.

Investigators combed through 10,000 text messages between the pair this year as part of the child sex abuse image case that’s put them both behind bars for now. 

Prosecutors with the United States Attorney’s Office in Boston announced Laughton, 39, is now indicted on a federal charge for the sexual exploitation of children and faces up to 30 years in prison on that one count.

Grove, 36, was working at a Tyngsborough daycare where she allegedly took explicit photos of the children in her care and texted them to Laughton. The two discussed the photos and discussed sexually assaulting children, according to prosecutors.

“(A) preliminary forensic review of Groves’ cellphone allegedly revealed over 10,000 text messages between Laughton and Groves that included discussion about, and transfer of, explicit photographs that Groves had taken of children while employed at Creative Minds daycare – including at least four sexually explicit images of children who appear to be approximately three to five years old, as well as explicit descriptions of sex with each other and others, including children,” prosecutors said in a statement.

According to the complaint, Laughton and Grove discussed raping the children at the daycare facility. In one chilling exchange, they discussed how to get away with the horrific crime. Laughton maintained there was nothing wrong with sexually abusing children:

GROVES: You mentioned how I said I was afraid that the kids will run to the parents if we do it with them I wasn’t being serious

LAUGHTON: OK because like I get concerned about that cause I don’t wanna get caught if we do

GROVES: I was joking anyway and you took me serious

LAUGHTON: Oh I know but I just don’t wanna get in trouble. I mean I want to do what we want to do because we like it and we approve of it but others think this is wrong. Lots of parents don’t like people touching their kids and it is against the law …”

Laughton is currently being held without bail on state charges connected to the case. The former state representative will be arranged in the federal court in Boston at a later date. Groves is being held without bail on federal charges brought last month.

Laughton became New Hampshire’s first transgender elected official in 2012, but the most significant history the Nashua Democrat has made is as a criminal. 

Laughton was forced to resign from the House in 2012 after it was learned the newly-elected representative was still on probation on a felony theft charge. Laughton has also been charged with stalking and making bomb threats.

 After regaining the seat in 2020 and winning reelection in 2022, Laughton spent weeks in jail after being charged with stalking and harassing Groves, according to court records. 

Laughton and Groves have a disturbing history of their own. Laughton reportedly harassed Groves and her family off and on for years. After being arrested last year for harassing Groves, Laughton was accused of using a local radio show and social media accounts to stalk Groves and repeatedly called 911 to report Groves was suicidal, according to court records. At one point during this campaign of harassment, Laughton referred to Groves as “wife,” though there is no record that they were legally married.

As part of the harassment case, Laughton is alleged to have repeatedly tried to get Groves fired from her job at the daycare and called Groves a pedophile on social media and on her radio program, according to court records.

Federal prosecutors say members of the public with questions, concerns, or information regarding this case should call 617 748 3274. Case information, including links to charging documents and victim resources, can also be found here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/victim-and-witness-assistance-program/united-states-v-lindsay-groves 

Trans Former NHDem Rep Busted for Child Porn

Last June, New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley gave a shoutout to state Rep. Stacie-Marie Laughton as one of the “LGBTQIA+ Democrats who are the backbone of the Granite State.”

Today, former Rep. Laughton is under arrest on charges of trafficking child sex abuse images taken by a former lover at a Massachusetts daycare.

When Buckley gave his endorsement last year, Laughton had already been in and out of jail on multiple charges, including credit card fraud and calling in a false bomb threat. But the shocking new charges — Laughton’s partner allegedly took photos of young children at Creative Minds daycare in Tyngsboro — are more serious than the crime of stalking for which Laughton was most recently jailed.

Lindsay Groves, 38, of Hudson, N.H., allegedly used her position at the daycare to take explicit photos of children, sending them to Laughton, who in turn distributed those images to others, according to court documents.

The arrest warrant affidavits in both their cases were still under seal Friday afternoon in the Hillsborough Superior Court—South in Nashua, but the available records show a link between the two cases.

“Groves allegedly used natural bathroom breaks for the children (routine diaper/pull-up changes before ‘naptime’) to take multiple photos of the prepubescent children in a private bathroom and then sent the photos to the individual via text message,” federal prosecutors wrote in a statement on Groves’ arrest.

That same day, Laughton was arrested in Nashua after police were tipped off about the Democrat’s alleged distribution of child sex abuse images. The court descriptions of the child sex abuse images that Groves took with her cell phone, and the images that Laughton distributed to others, are identical.

Laughton, New Hampshire’s first transgender elected official, spent weeks in jail last year after being charged with stalking and harassing Grove, according to court records. 

Laughton and Groves have a disturbing relationship, and Laughton reportedly harassed Groves and her family off and on for years. When Laughton was arrested last year for harassing Groves, the state representative was accused of using a radio show and social media accounts to stalk Groves and repeatedly called 911 to report Groves was suicidal, according to court records. At one point during the campaign of harassment, Laughton used the word “wife” to describe Groves.

A strange twist in the harassment case alleged Laughton repeatedly tried to get Groves fired from her job at Creative Minds and spread rumors on social media and on the radio that Groves is a pedophile, according to court records.

Laughton’s criminal history is extensive, including being convicted in 2008 for credit card fraud for stealing from a person in Laconia and charged in 2015 for calling in a bomb threat at the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center hospital in Nashua. Those charges were later dropped as Laughton claimed to be suffering from a mental health crisis at the time.

Laughton first became a state representative from the Democratic stronghold of Nashua in 2012 but was forced to resign soon after when the 2008 credit card fraud arrest became public. Despite pressure from the Democratic Party, Laughton tried to run to fill the vacancy created by the Democrat’s own resignation. But that bid was cut short when it was deemed Laughton was legally ineligible for office since the candidate was still technically serving a suspended sentence for the felony credit card fraud case.

Laughton ran for the seat again in 2020 without any public pushback from the New Hampshire Democratic Party. But re-election in 2022 turned problematic when the stalking arrest left Laughton behind bars on Organization Day, unable to cast a vote for the Democratic Caucus. At that point, Buckley and other Democrats called for Laughton to resign. 

Laughton left the House and entered a plea agreement on the stalking charges. Asked by NHJournal if this was the end of politics for the Nashua Democrat, Laughton said another run for office after completing court-ordered therapy is possible.

Disgraced Dem Woodburn Stays Free For Now

Former Democratic leader Jeffrey Woodburn won’t have to start serving jail time yet, despite convictions for criminal mischief stemming from allegations of domestic violence.

The one-time state Senate Minority Leader from Coös County plans to appeal his criminal mischief sentence while preparing for a new domestic violence trial. In March, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled he did not get a fair trial the first time and reversed the domestic violence convictions but let the criminal mischief charges stand.

Last week, Coös Superior Court Judge Peter Bornstein gave Woodburn until July 14 to file his sentence appeal for the criminal mischief charges. The new domestic violence trial is set for next spring. 

Woodburn was originally sentenced to two years in jail with all but 60 days suspended. 

Woodburn allegedly bit his then-girlfriend during a brawl after a Christmas party in 2017. Days later, he allegedly kicked the door to the woman’s house when she refused to let him inside. Earlier that year, in August 2017, he reportedly kicked her clothes drying, breaking the appliance, according to court records.

Woodburn has been fighting the charges for years, becoming a recurring headline for state Democrats. Woodburn was formally charged in August 2018 but still ran for reelection in the face of calls for his resignation. He won the Democratic primary but lost in the general election that year. 

Woodburn’s appearance in the news again as he fights the convictions coincides with news stories of other New Hampshire Democrats linked to violence against women.

Former State Rep. Stacie Laughton (D-Nashua) ended up in jail for weeks after the 2022 midterm elections on charges of stalking a woman and her family. State Democrats, desperate to edge out the House GOP’s razor-thin majority, stayed silent about Laughton for nearly a month. Democratic leaders only called for Laughton’s resignation when it became clear they would not have the majority with or without the Nashua seat.

Democratic U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen burned political capital backing President Joe Biden’s judicial nomination of lawyer Michael Delaney. Sexual assault victims, including Chessy Prout, opposed Delaney. Prout was a 15-year-old sexual assault victim who sued the elite St. Paul’s private school in Concord. Delaney, who represented the school, used his expertise in court to strip the teen girl of her anonymity.

Delaney’s nomination was finally torpedoed in May after weeks of heavy criticism from victims and advocates, but not before Hassan and Shaheen endorsed him.

Victim Advocacy Group: ‘No Place’ in NH House for Dem Accused of Stalking

As New Hampshire Democrats remain silent about one of their own sitting in jail on stalking charges, the state’s leading victim advocacy group is speaking out.

State Rep. Stacie Laughton (D-Nashua) is currently being held without bail in Manchester’s Valley Street Jail on grounds she presents an ongoing danger to the public as well as the victim of her stalking and harassment. Laughton had already been found guilty of stalking the same Hudson woman named in the current complaint. The charges go back to at least 2019 before Laughton was elected as New Hampshire’s first transgender state representative.

Incoming House Democratic Caucus leader Rep. Matt Wilhelm and state party chair Ray Buckley have both refused to condemn Laughton’s behavior or respond to multiple requests for comment about her arrest.

But the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (NHCADSV) is speaking out.

“We are extremely concerned by the numerous charges filed against Rep. Laughton. It is critical that individuals that hold positions of power be held accountable when they cause harm. There is no place in the New Hampshire legislature for those who perpetrate abuse,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, NHCADSV director of public affairs. “Stalking is rooted in a pattern of behavior intended to cause fear in the victim and can have long-term impacts on a survivor. Stalking is a very serious crime that has the potential to escalate to physical and even lethal violence,” Grady Sexton said.

One reason for the Democratic Party’s silence, critics said, was the GOP’s extremely narrow 198-201 majority in the House. As a result, every vote will count at Wednesday’s Organization Day session when representatives are sworn in and leadership positions are settled. Laughton’s vote could decide which party has a majority.

Democrats are also mounting a major campaign to oust current Secretary of State Dave Scanlan in favor of former State Sen. Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline).

Could Laughton leave jail to cast a vote on the floor of the State House? Under New Hampshire’s Constitution, state representatives cannot be stopped from attending House sessions and police are prohibited from arresting representatives en route to the legislature.

“Democrats could solve this problem by announcing in advance they will refuse to seat Laughton,” said Rep. Ross Berry (R-Manchester). “But they haven’t, which means they care more about politics than protecting women.”

Laughton is accused of repeatedly violating orders to leave a Hudson woman alone as well as charges of stalking, criminal defamation, and making false 911 calls. Laughton is already facing jail time after pleading no contest last summer to charges of making false 911 calls about the same victim. Prosecutors have told the court they plan to ask for the imposition of the suspended nine-month sentence brought in that case.

She is scheduled for a hearing in Nashua District Court on Dec. 22, during which she could enter into a plea agreement to resolve her case. Even if she misses Organization Day, Laughton would be free to serve in the House once she is released as she is not currently charged with any felonies.

Laughton won a seat for state representative in 2012 but was forced to resign soon after her 2008 credit card fraud arrest became public. Despite pressure from the Democratic Party, Laughton tried to run again to fill the seat in a special election after her resignation. That bid was cut short when it was deemed she was legally ineligible for office at the time since she was still technically serving her suspended sentence for the felony credit card fraud case.