Counselor pleads not guilty to child porn charges

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By Jason Starr
The Essex Reporter

Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigators allegedly found sexual pictures of naked young boys on a laptop belonging to a former Essex Junction after school and camp counselor in April.

Last week, Anthony Giroux, 21, of Essex pleaded not guilty to three counts of possessing child pornography. Each offense carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. Giroux resigned from his position with Essex Junction Recreation and Parks the same day investigators questioned him at his home on Tyler Drive, according to a sworn statement from lead investigator Detective Sarah Superneau of the South Burlington Police Department. The police also seized 14 electronic devices from Giroux’s home.

According to police, Giroux used two email addresses to send himself two videos of young boys performing sexual acts. Grioux denied seeing the videos but acknowledged having downloaded “a tiny bit” of child pornography, according to Superneau.

Giroux was arraigned and released last Thursday on conditions that include a mandate that he remain in Chittenden County unless granted court permission to leave. He is prohibited from having contact with people under the age of 16, and he is not allowed to access the Internet or to use Internet-enabled devices. He is also banned from schools and parks.

Investigators were tipped off to alleged illegal activities on email addresses that Giroux used, Superneau said. The tip came through a cyber tipline operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that allows Internet service providers to alert the center to illegal pornography being moved on their networks. The center then alerts investigators in the states where the accounts being used are registered.

Superneau stated she received a tip of emailed child pornographic videos in January and contacted Comcast to trace one of the email accounts to Giroux’s home. In March, Superneau received a search warrant to monitor one of the email accounts. On April 15, she received a search warrant for Giroux’s home.

She and another investigator knocked on the door at Tyler Drive at 6 a.m. on April 17 and interviewed Giroux. According to Superneau’s sworn statement, Giroux began shaking when investigators asked him about his email address. Giroux said he had deleted any photos depicting children. Investigators said they found the images in a “backup/mobile sync” folder on Giroux’s laptop.