A Boston woman was arrested on child pornography charges Wednesday, police said, asking anyone who thinks they or their family was a victim of hers to get in touch.
The woman, 36-year-old Stephanie Lak of Roxbury, broke down in court as prosecutors said that she, a longtime nanny, possessed and distributed child pornography.
"It is clear that she has access to children, she has a long history of being a nanny and babysitter," a prosecutor said in court Wednesday.
Lak was arrested after an investigation prompted by a tip from the messaging app company Kik forwarded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in March, prosecutors said in a court filing.
Her home was raided this month, and phones and a computer were seized, according to prosecutors. Police interviewed her Tuesday and she allegedly admitted to using Kik and the username at the center of the investigation, and sharing about 100 files containing material showing child sexual abuse, as well as discussing the abuse in with other users.
Court records indicate that FBI agents in Minneapolis investigating a person for alleged sexual abuse of children recovered a chat that traced back to Lak.
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"The defendant is having these conversations with someone who is actively sexually abusing his children and encouraging him to do that, and suggesting ways that he should do that," a prosecutor said.
Lak faces two charges: possession of child pornography and distributing material of a child in a sex act.
Court paperwork on Wednesday listed "no plea." A judge released her on $5,000 bail and ordered her not to use any babysitting or nanny apps.
NBC10 Boston reached out to her public defender for comment on the charges.
Family members declined to comment except to say they haven't been in contact with Lak for a number of years.
"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," Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement.
Prosecutors said in court that they're working to identify all the families that Lak babysat for in the area.
Police are asking anyone who has been in contact with Lak, or thinks their children have, and believes they are a victim in the case to email Lakinvestigation@fbi.gov with their name and contact information so an investigator can get in touch. All victims' identities will be kept confidential, police said.