Wayland Man Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to Jail in Connection with Possessing Child Pornography
Jeffrey Barnett, age 53, has pled guilty to charges of Possession of Child Pornography (3 counts), and Dissemination of Child Pornography. After the plea was entered, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Howard Whitehead sentenced Barnett to serve two and a half years in the House of Correction, nine months to serve, with the balance suspended for a probationary period of five years. While on probation, Barnett must register with the state's Sex Offender Registry Board, must undergo sex offender evaluation and counseling, and he will also be monitored by a GPS electronic bracelet. Judge Whitehead also ordered that Barnett have no contact with any children, and that Barnett's internet use be restricted and monitored.
In October 2007, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after the matter had been referred and was originally investigated by Massachusetts State Police in the Massachusetts Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. A state trooper was investigating a file sharing network for users disseminating images and movies of child pornography when he came across a computer IP address that originated in Massachusetts. After the discovery, the trooper then referred the matter to the Attorney General's Office.
Investigators from the Attorney General's Office discovered that the computer with the Massachusetts IP address belonged to a residence in Wayland and the user was identified as Barnett. In April 2008, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office executed a search warrant on Barnett's residence and seized several computers and other forms of media. Investigators examined the computers and media and it was determined that Barnett downloaded these images from the file sharing network.
A Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against Barnett on March 25, 2009. He was arraigned on April 9, 2009, in Middlesex Superior Court where he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. On May 24, 2011, Barnett pled guilty to all charges and was sentenced.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Christopher Kelly of AG Coakley's Cyber Crime Division and was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office and the Massachusetts Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.