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Local News

January 26, 2013

Peabody man admits to downloading, sharing child porn

PEABODY — A Peabody man who, according to his lawyer, sought refuge from marital difficulties and social awkwardness in “a strange world in the dark” pleaded guilty yesterday to possessing and distributing child pornography.

Barry Bushway, 49, was sentenced to serve six months of a 21/2 year jail term, followed by eight years of probation, during a hearing yesterday in Salem Superior Court. Bushway was also barred from unsupervised contact with children under 18 and unsupervised use of a computer, and will have to wear a GPS bracelet and register as a sex offender when he’s released.

“These are horrific images, and there are way too many silent victims, these children, who wouldn’t suffer without the demand,” said Judge David Lowy.

The images were discovered on computers and external drives found in Bushway’s Tumelty Road home following a search early on the morning of Oct. 25, 2010.

A state police investigator in Pennsylvania who was looking into child pornography being distributed on “peer-to-peer” computer programs like Limewire noticed one photo of a girl, about 4 or 5 years old, photographed from the waist down, said assistant attorney general Marina Moriarty.

The Limewire user who had offered that photo indicated that he had some 5,000 files that could be downloaded from his home computer.

The Internet address of the computer was traced to Bushway, and state police in Massachusetts got a warrant to search the home.

During questioning, Bushway initially denied that he’d done anything wrong, then confessed, telling the troopers that he initially downloaded the child porn by accident as he was searching for adult pornography, Moriarty told the judge. Soon, Bushway told police, he realized that he was excited by the “danger.”

At one point, said the prosecutor, he deleted the images, after his wife had confronted him, but subsequently re-downloaded it, making backup copies on an external hard drive and setting up a virtual machine, a “computer within a computer,” to hide the thousands of still images and more than 100 videos, the prosecutor said.

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