Crime

Roxbury woman who worked as a nanny charged with child porn distribution in Boston police, FBI investigation

Investigators are still searching for more victims of the allegations against Stephanie Lak, 36.

A Roxbury woman who worked as a nanny was charged with possessing and distributing child pornography following a joint investigation by Boston police and the FBI.

Stephanie Lak, 36, was arrested and arraigned Wednesday after she allegedly sent and received 100 files and discussed sex acts to perform on children through an online app, WCVB reports.

Lak appeared in court shaking and weeping and was ordered held on $5,000 bail.

According to Boston police, the department’s Crimes Against Children Unit received a cyber tip on March 2 from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, spurring the investigation.

Prosecutors say Lak’s alleged actions date back to Dec. 24, 2020, WCVB reports.

In court documents, officials said the FBI was initially probing an alleged case of child sex abuse involving a Minneapolis suspect who cared for children when they uncovered a connection to Lak.

On the massaging app, Kik, Lak allegedly discussed sex acts to perform on a baby, according to the news station.

The Suffolk Country District Attorney’s Office said Lak spoke with the Minnesota-based caregiver and encouraged and advised him on how to abuse children.

“The defendant (was) having conversations with someone who is actively sexually abusing his children, and encouraging him to do that and suggesting ways that he should do that,” Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Nicole Poirier said.

According to Poirier, Lak “has a long history of being a nanny,” The Boston Herald reports.

Lak was active on the nanny and babysitting marketplace website sittercity.com for several years and as recently as last month, Poirier said.

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Authorities discovered Lak’s selfie on Kik and used her IP address to trace the case to her, according to the WCVB. Investigators also found videos and photos on the app and seized a cellphone and laptop as evidence in the case.

“There is no bigger betrayal than people tasked with teaching, protecting, or caring for children sexually exploiting and violating them,” District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement. “And to be very clear, possessing and disseminating child pornography hurts children. Do not be fooled. Each still image or video chronicles an act of violence, sexual assault and/or rape. And when those images or videos are shared with other pedophiles online, that child is abused and victimized in perpetuity.”

Investigators have so far identified two victims: two girls, ages 3 and 5, WCVB reports.

Boston police are asking that anyone who was in contact with Lak or has children who were in contact with Lak and who think they may be a victim in the case to email [email protected] with their name and contact information.

“All identities of victims will be kept confidential,” police said. “Identified victims may be eligible for certain services and rights under state and/or federal law.”

Lak is due back in court on May 25.

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