Danvers

Court Docs Detail Discovery of Boxes of Child Sex Abuse Images in Secret Room

Mark Ternullo, a child psychologist, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of child pornography after a work crew hired by his landlord discovered a hidden room behind the bathtub in his apartment in Danvers, Massachusetts

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Neighbors are shocked after a child psychologist was arrested for allegedly stashing hundreds of images of child sexual abuse in a secret room in his apartment in Danvers, Massachusetts.

The discovery was made by a demolition crew working on the bathroom in Mark Ternullo's home.

According to court documents, a workman hired by the landlord to repair water damage in Ternullo's apartment was removing the bathtub, but the bathroom wall was so rotted that it crumbled.

That's when the workman noticed a hidden room and photography paper with images that he thought "didn't look right" and "looked wrong." He notified the landlord, who called police.

Ternullo was there the entire time and knew renovations were being done in the unit.

Investigators received a search warrant and found multiple boxes of illicit photos.

Ternullo is charged with possession of child pornography.

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"What's going on in his mind?" asked neighbor Dennis Morley. "He's a child psychologist, did he become one, you know what I mean, to hunt them? Who knows."

If he posts bail, he'll have to remain on house arrest.

"It's simple: Anyone arrested for having a secret room filled with child pornography should be kept away from the public + kids," Gov. Charlie Baker said in a tweet Friday. "But current law doesn't allow a judge to hold someone charged with possession of child pornography. Our bill would change that."

Baker says the proposed legislation is long overdue.

Ternullo's landlord just purchased the building last summer. She declined to comment about the case.

According to the Eagle Tribune newspaper, Ternullo worked for schools in Methuen and Gloucester years ago.

NBC10 Boston has reached out to the school districts for details.

Ternullo pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and has not posted bail, which was set at $10,000 with conditions. His attorney has not returned a request for comment.

"My grandkids were always playing out here," said Morley. "Just hoping he wasn't filming my grandkids out here."

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