Lawrence mayor’s chief of staff arrested, charged with possession of child pornography

Jhovanny Martes-Rosario, 48, told officials he was fired from his position with the city on Monday.

The 48-year-old chief of staff for the mayor of Lawrence was arrested Monday and is facing charges of possession of child pornography as part of a cyber crimes investigation by state police. 

Jhovanny Martes-Rosario, 48, of Lawrence was arrested Monday evening by state police executing a court-authorized search warrant on electronic devices at his home, according to police. Troopers allegedly found dozens of images of child pornography on Martes-Rosario’s iPad during the search. 

He was arraigned Tuesday in Lawrence District Court on two counts of possession of child pornography. 

According to state police, the investigation that resulted in Martes-Rosario’s arrest began in December when the department’s cyber crime unit received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about images of child pornography that were allegedly uploaded from an IP address associated with Martes-Rosario’s Mount Auburn Street home. 


Police said the ensuing investigation connected the IP address to Martes-Rosario.

Martes-Rosario posted a bond of $1,050 after being booked at the Andover State Police Barracks following his arrest Monday evening and pleaded not guilty during his Tuesday arraignment, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.  

He reportedly told officials he was fired on Monday from his position of chief of staff to Mayor Brian DePeña.

DePeña’s office released the following statement, according to Boston 25 News:

Mayor Brian A. DePeña made the decision to immediately dismiss Mr. Jhovanny Martes, Chief Staff of the office of Mayor DePeña, after receiving official information of his arrest due to causes that remain under investigation at this time. Mayor Brian A. DePeña’s office will provide more details on this once they reach his office.

The bail previously set for Martes-Rosario was kept in place on Tuesday, but he was ordered to stay off the internet, surrender his passport, and stay away from all children under the age of 18 except for his own son, according to the DA’s office. 

He is due to return to court on March 27.


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