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Father of Newton child porn suspect says his son needs help

Posted by Your Town  January 25, 2012 06:00 PM

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The shaken father of a Newton library employee charged with possessing and distributing child pornography said tonight that he has been blindsided by the charges against his son, who he said didn't understand the full extent of his alleged crime.

"I think he needs help,'' said Briggs Buchanan of his son Peter Buchanan, 47, who pleaded not guilty in Newton District Court today to three counts of possession and two counts of distribution of child pornography.

"The whole thing is a shock to me,'' said Briggs Buchanan, who appeared overwhelmed, and said he'd avoided answering his door all day as reporter after reporter came knocking at the home he shares with his son.

Briggs Buchanan spoke of his son as a man who had struggled, but who loved working at the Newton Free Library, and wouldn't have done anything to jeopardize the happiness he found in his job. City officials said Peter Buchanan was a part time audio-visual employee with the library.

"He had a hard time in school, but he graduated,'' said Briggs Buchanan. "He always wanted to work in the Newton Library. He finally got a job there."

In the library, Buchanan said, his son Peter made lots of friends.

"I think he saw himself working there forever," Buchanan said.

Buchanan said that his son would never have knowingly distributed any images of child pornography.

"Honestly I don't believe he knew that was happening,'' he said.

Buchanan said he doesn't think his son had connected what he was doing to the possible consequences.

"He knew this would be the death knell,'' said Buchanan. "But you're able to separate things in your mind, I guess.''

Buchanan said he was was stunned by the allegations that Peter had used his laptop to download child pornography from a peer-to-peer file sharing website.

"He lives here, but he has his own life,'' Buchanan said. "He's an adult."

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