First Transgender Rep. Faces Child Exploitation Charges

Barry Charles Laughton Jr., 39, who is often referred to by their transgender name, Stacie Marie Laughton, widely recognized as the first openly transgender elected representative in the United States, is facing charges for sexual exploitation of children. Laughton is a male who considers himself to be a transgender female. These allegations come in addition to child pornography charges laid against Laughton last month.

Laughton, who served as a Democratic representative in New Hampshire, gained national attention in 2012 as the first transgender individual to be elected to public office. However, Laughton’s political career was tainted by a past felony conviction for identity and credit card fraud. After a hiatus from public service due to legalities, Laughton returned to office in 2019, winning three separate elections, the latest in 2022.

However, Laughton’s recent tenure was cut short when he resigned a month after being elected, amid scrutiny over another criminal conviction.

Laughton’s latest charges center around his former partner, Lindsay Groves, who is accused of capturing explicit images of children at a daycare where she worked and sharing the images with Laughton. The allegations have sparked a lawsuit against the daycare, Creative Minds Early Learning Center, on behalf of a young victim. The suit alleges negligence and invasion of privacy on part of the daycare, leading to severe physical and emotional distress for the child.

Court filings reveal explicit text conversations between Laughton and Groves discussing their heinous acts. The shocking revelations have raised concerns and questions about Laughton’s suitability as a public official and his moral standing as an ordained minister.

The US Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts is yet to set a date for Laughton’s formal hearing. If convicted, Laughton could face 15 to 30 years in prison and hefty fines, with potential for lifetime supervision.