Former New Hampshire state representative Stacie Marie Laughton, the first transgender-identifying state lawmaker in the nation, has been arrested and charged with the distribution of child pornography. Laughton, previously known as Barry Charles Laughton, Jr., now faces four counts of distributing sexually explicit images of children.
The arrest occurred after the Nashua Police Department responded to a juvenile incident on Tuesday and received information that Laughton had been distributing explicit images. Following this tip, the police conducted a search of Laughton’s residence on Thursday, leading to the arrest.
Nashua Police Department’s public information officer, Sgt. John Cinelli, confirmed that reporting parties had accused Laughton of distributing sexually explicit images involving children. Detectives from the special investigations division were assigned to the case, and their subsequent investigation resulted in the issuance of an arrest warrant for Laughton.
The 39-year-old former state representative is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday at the Hillsborough County Superior Court-South.
Laughton’s legal troubles have been an ongoing issue. In 2008, prior to being elected as a state lawmaker, Laughton was convicted of a credit card felony. Despite this, Laughton’s election in 2012 marked a historic moment, as they became the first transgender-identifying person to serve as a state lawmaker, garnering enthusiasm from LGBT activists.
However, shortly after the election, Laughton resigned amidst allegations of credit card fraud. Subsequently, Laughton was sentenced to six months in jail in 2015 after making a false bomb threat to a hospital. In July 2021, Laughton was once again arrested for providing false information to the police.
Although Laughton managed to win a seat in the state house in November 2022, they resigned in December after facing accusations of stalking. This marked the second arrest for stalking in 2022, with the September incident occurring just months before the election.
In a Facebook video posted during the period of accusations, Laughton announced their departure from politics, assuring viewers of their safety and well-being. Laughton expressed a desire to serve in other capacities and maintain connections with the community.
“I’m alive, I’m safe, I’m well,” Laughton said in a Facebook video at the time, announcing he was leaving politics. “I’m not suicidal, and just trying to get by every day with what I’ve been dealt. I don’t know what the future holds but I do know this — there’s a lot of good opportunities out there for me to serve, and a lot of good opportunities for me to still stay connected with everyone and I plan to do that.”