Essex Junction man charged with possession of child sexual abuse materials

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Essex Junction man charged with possession of child sexual abuse materials

Mon, 08/02/2021 - 3:56pm -- katie

Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced today that John Mara of Essex Junction, Vermont was arraigned on July 29, 2021 on six felony counts of possession of child sexual abuse materials. According to documents filed with the court, the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce (VT-ICAC) received a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children which indicated that someone had uploaded images containing child sexual abuse material to a Microsoft account. After executing online and residential search warrants, the VT-ICAC subsequently seized devices containing child sexual abuse materials from Mr. Mara’s residence.

Mr. Mara pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in the Vermont Superior Court, Chittenden Criminal Division, the Hon. Alison Arms presiding. The court released him on conditions of release which include limitations on his access to children and the internet. The Attorney General emphasizes that individuals charged with a crime are legally presumed innocent until their guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt through the court process.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, VT-ICAC, Vermont State Police, Burlington Police Department, Essex Police Department, Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations, and the Homeland Security Investigations. VT-ICAC investigates cases of child sexual exploitation occurring over the internet, including the production and online sharing of child pornography. This Task Force also provides forensic examination services, technical assistance, law enforcement training, and public education and outreach. The Attorney General’s Office, United States Attorney’s Office, Vermont State Police, and other county and municipal law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies are affiliated with the Task Force.

Since the start of 2021, VT-ICAC has arrested 22 individuals for charges related to child sexual abuse materials.