MARBLEHEAD — A Marblehead man was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail yesterday following his arraignment on child pornography charges.

Matthew Macaro, 33, of 26 Nonantum Road pleaded not guilty during an appearance yesterday in Lynn District Court to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography.

Prosecutors said Macaro was identified during an investigation by state police working with the Essex County district attorney's office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The investigators obtained a search warrant and, during a search of the computer in Macaro's bedroom Tuesday, found approximately 100 shared files, some of which depicted prepubescent boys and girls, ages 5 to 14, engaging in sexual acts with adults, prosecutors said.

Investigators believe Macaro was using a file-sharing service, which led them to charge him with distributing child pornography, as well as with possessing it.

Lynn District Court Judge Ellen Flatley ordered that if Macaro makes the $10,000 bail, that he is to have no contact with children under 17 and that he cannot use a computer or the Internet.

The judge temporarily sealed the case file after Macaro's lawyer argued that the release of Macaro's age, address and a photograph would end up on the Internet and create a "burden" on Macaro.

Defense lawyer George Abi-Esber filed a handwritten motion seeking the impoundment, or sealing, of Macaro's date of birth, home address and his photograph.

The lawyer began to argue that it would be "unfair" for a man who has served his country to have his information appear on the Internet.

"If he is found not guilty, it creates a heavy burden," Abi-Esber argued before Flatley cut him off.

The judge cited the Massachusetts courts' uniform impoundment procedure, which requires a full hearing. The judge also said she would not consider Abi-Esber's request unless he submitted a complete written motion and affidavit, but that the statements he made in court yesterday were generally not an adequate basis to order impoundment.

However, while the request is pending, the judge ordered that the entire court file, containing a case docket, police report and other paperwork that includes Macaro's date of birth and address, as well as a photocopy of his picture, be sealed.

A prosecutor from District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett's office told Flatley that his office opposes the motion to impound and argued that Macaro should be treated as all other defendants are treated.

Flatley refused to hear a Salem News reporter's request for clarification of her order in court yesterday. A Trial Court spokeswoman said via email yesterday that Flatley's order was temporary pending a hearing into the issues on Monday.

Abi-Esber had no response when told by a reporter after the hearing that Macaro's age and address had already been published in yesterday's edition of The Salem News.

Court case files in Massachusetts are presumed to be open for public inspection unless a judge makes findings that an overriding interest, such as privacy concerns, overcomes the presumptive First Amendment right to access, and that any restriction be narrowly tailored so as to address only the issue of concern, according to the Trial Court's Guidelines on the Public's Right of Access to Judicial Proceedings and Records.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis may be reached at 978-338-2521 or jmanganis@salemnews.com.

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