Former Southborough official facing charges after allegedly showing minors porn on his phone

David Parry chalked the incident up to a "perfectly innocent mistake" involving a new and complicated cellphone.

A former Southborough Select Board member who was arrested last week after allegedly showing a pornographic video to underage teens said his unfamiliarity with a new cellphone was to blame for the incident.

David Parry, 80, allegedly approached two teens in a Southborough restaurant on May 30 and tried to engage them in a conversation before showing them porn on his cellphone, Southborough police said in a press release

Parry chalked the incident up to a “perfectly innocent mistake.”

“Most people know that it is hard, even for a youngster, to avoid this annoying stuff on your phone, but when you are 80 years old, a new phone-computer can be a nightmare to operate,” Parry said in a statement provided to


Parry served three terms on the town’s Select Board in the 1990s and early 2000s, also mounting an unsuccessful bid for a seat on the board last month.

What happened in Southborough?

According to a police report, two boys — ages 16 and 17 — were waiting for their order at Southborough House of Pizza when a “strange” man informed them he was “writing a book” about “reformatory punishment at British boarding schools” and asked if they could provide “references,” The Boston Globe reported. 

The police report alleges that Parry said “I bet you guys would like this” while showing the boys the video, ignoring their requests to “leave them alone,” according to the Globe. 

In his statement, Parry cited complications with his cellphone.

“This is what sometimes happens — when you make a perfectly innocent mistake — by opening a new and complicated folding cellphone, in front of someone else, intending to open your email and show them a document,” Parry wrote. “But instead, when you punch in an array of buttons on the phone, you suddenly see an embarrassing image, and you immediately hide the phone and apologize … but it’s too late,  because they catch a glimpse, and [to] make matters worse, you can’t get rid of the annoying image for several seconds, no matter which buttons you press.”


The teens reported the incident to an adult, who contacted the Southborough Police Department. Parry was arrested the following day and charged with two counts of dissemination of matter harmful to minors, police said in the press release.

He pleaded not guilty in Westborough District Court and was released on personal recognizance with orders to undergo a mental health evaluation and treatment, submit to GPS monitoring, have no contact with the alleged victims or anyone underage, and stay away from St. Mark’s School and Southborough House of Pizza, according to the Globe

His next court date is July 18.

“Fortunately I can PROVE this was an unfortunate accident, and this will be explained in court in future,” Parry wrote. “But unfortunately it’s a long legal process. Meanwhile I apologize to the St. Mark’s students, once again.”


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