The chief of staff to Lawrence’s mayor pleaded not guilty at his court appearance Tuesday on charges of two counts of possession of child pornography.
State Police arrested 48-year-old Jhovanny Martes-Rosario Monday. Martes-Rosario, who worked as chief of staff to Lawrence Mayor Brian A. DePeña until Monday, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Lawrence District Court. He posted a bond of $1,050 after being booked at the Andover State Police Barracks after his arrest.
Judge Holly Broadbent retained the bail amount, but agreed with prosecutors’ conditions that Martes-Rosario stay off the internet, away from all children under 18 except his own son and surrender his passport. He is next due in court on March 27.
According to a State Police statement, the agency’s Cyber Crime Unit arrested Martes-Rosario after troopers used a court-authorized warrant to search electronic devices in his home. The Unit began its investigation in December after receiving information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about alleged images of child pornography uploaded from an internet address associated with Martes-Rosario’s house. After obtaining the search warrant from Salem District Court Monday, members of the Cyber Crime Unit went to Martes-Rosario’s house about 6:30 p.m.
Troopers allegedly located dozens of images of child pornography on the Martes-Rosario’s iPad.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Shailagh Kennedy. Martes-Rosario was represented by attorney Joanne McLaughlin of Lawrence.