Lawrence Mayor's Chief of Staff Charged With Possession of Child Sex Images

Jhovanny Martes-Rosario, chief of staff for Lawrence Mayor Brian DePena, allegedly admitted to police that he'd looked for and downloaded such images for years

NBC Universal, Inc.

The chief of staff for the mayor of Lawrence, Massachusetts, was arrested Monday night on two counts of possession of child sex images, officials said.

Jhovanny Martes-Rosario, 48, was arrested after state police troopers executed a court-authorized search warrant on electronic devices in his home, a state police spokesman said.



Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.


Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

The state police Cyber Crime Unit began the investigation that led to Martes-Rosario's arrest in December after receiving information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about images of child sex images uploaded from an IP address associated with his home on Mount Auburn Street. They said further investigation tied the IP address to Martes-Rosario.

After obtaining the search warrant Monday, members of the Cyber Crime Unit went to Martes-Rosario's home around 6:30 p.m. and conducted a forensic examination of electronic devices, locating dozens of child sex images on his iPad.

Martes-Rosario pleaded not guilty when he appeared in Lawrence District Court Tuesday morning, prosecutors said. He was released on bail, which a judge declined to raise at prosecutors' request, on the condition that Martes-Rosario have no contact with any child under 18 except his 11-year-old son, not use a computer and surrender his passport.

Martes-Rosario is the chief of staff for Lawrence Mayor Brian DePena, state police confirmed Tuesday, though he wasn't listed as a member of DePena's staff on the city website as of late Tuesday morning.

NBC10 Boston has reached out to DePena for comment on the arrest.

Investigators were tipped off to pictures of naked girls under 6 years old uploaded to two of Martes-Rosario's accounts, including a Yahoo email, according to a police report.

When police arrived at his home Monday night, he allegedly admitted looking for and downloading the images for years.

"He admitted to searching for and downloading child sexual abuse material from to his personal iPad and sending it to his … email address for storage," the police report says. "Jhovanny admitted he had curiosity for [child sexual abuse images] and that is why he stored it, further stating he has been searching for and storing it for 'years.'"

Contact Us