Arlington pediatric nurse arraigned for alleged child pornography possession

Peter Sahagian, 61, allegedly had photographs downloaded from the internet.

A former pediatric nurse at Cambridge Hospital was arraigned Wednesday for allegedly possessing child pornography, prosecutors say.

Peter Sahagian, 61, of Arlington, allegedly had a computer thumb drive containing photos of underage females that appear to have been downloaded from the internet, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.

Cambridge District Court Judge Roanne Sragow ordered that Sahagian — charged with one count of possession of child pornography — be released on personal recognizance under the conditions that he stay away from children under the age of 18 and refrain from going online, prosecutors said in a statement.

On May 16, Arlington police and the FBI’s Human Trafficking-Child Exploitation Task Force acted on a “Cybertip” from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children alleging that Sahagian used the internet-search website, Bing, to download an image of child pornography, officials said.

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During their investigation at Sahagian’s house, authorities reviewed the thumb drive and learned that Sahagian was a licensed practical nurse at Cambridge Hospital — which is owned by Cambridge Health Alliance — in its pediatric unit, according to the statement.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that the images in Sahagian’s possession were downloaded from the internet on his home computer and does not indicate that images contained on the flash drive are of patients,” officials said.

A warrant was issued for Sahagian’s arrest earlier this week, and he was taken into custody on Wednesday.

In an email, David Cecere, a hospital spokesman, told Boston.com Friday that Sahagian “will not be returning to work.”

“We treat all matters of patient and staff safety very seriously,” a statement from the hospital said. “We are fully cooperating with local law enforcement authorities, who have informed us there is no indication the alleged criminal activity was work-related or involved any patients from the practice. We have launched our own comprehensive review of this case and are doing everything we can to ensure the safety and privacy of our patients and staff.”

The hospital is currently reaching out to families of its patients, the statement added.

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Sahagian is due back in court on July 24. Prosecutors said the investigation remains ongoing.