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Dalton man gets 16 years in prison in child sexual exploitation case

The seal of the U.S. Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice

A Dalton, Massachusetts man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release for four counts of sexual exploitation of children.

James LaFrance, 65, pleaded guilty in July and was sentenced Friday in Springfield federal court.

According to the office of the Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell, LaFrance befriended two teenagers online – one from Massachusetts and one from Pennsylvania – and encouraged them to “engage in sexually explicit conduct during video chat sessions” in 2018 and 2019. The office says LaFrance “recorded the girls’ actions on his computer and provided specific directions as to what they were to do on camera.”

The case is a part of an initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice known as Project Safe Childhood, intended to curb child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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