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[UPDATED]: Newton Library Employee Arraigned on Child Porn Charges

Peter Buchanan is being held on $5,000 cash bail.

Updated 1:15 p.m. with additional information from the DA's office.

Updated 12:15 p.m. with additional info from Buchanan's arraignment and the city. 

One week after , a Newton Free Library staffer has been arraigned on similar charges in .

Peter Buchanan, 47, of Newton, was arrested Tuesday and was charged with two counts of child pornography dissemination and three counts of possession of child pornography.

Newton District Court Judge Dyanne Klein ordered Buchanan held on $5,000 cash bail ($50,000 surety) and is in custody. If he makes bail, the conditions are:

  • No contact with children (under 18)
  • No use of a computer
  • Stay away from the Newton Free Library
  • No job or volunteer position dealing with children (under 18)

During Buchanan's arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Craig Estes alleged that authorities found images on Buchanan's laptop, which were used in a file-sharing program.

Authorities allege Buchanan acknowledged the files were on his computer and he had downloaded child pornography over the last few years. 

Buchanan's arrest was part of part of an investigation done by the Massachusetts Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said Middlesex County District Attorney Spokeswoman Cara O'Brien. On Oct. 27, 2011 and Nov. 1, 2011, the investigation looked into the use of file sharing programs for the possession and distribution of child pornographic images and movies. 

During that investigation, authorities found a computer that was sharing suspected child pornography files. A search warrant was executed at Buchanan's home on Tuesday, where the suspected computer was found.

“These are very troubling allegations, where a city employee working in a public library was in possession of child pornography,” District Attorney Leone said in a statement. “Children are our most vulnerable victims and we will continue to prosecute those who harm or exploit them.”

However, Buchanan's Attorney David Levinson explained to the court that Buchanan was not aware the files on his computer were part of a file-sharing program. He said his client was a longtme employee of the Newton Free Library and before that, worked in production at the local TAB newspapers. 

Levinson added that Buchanan believes he was "over charged."

Levinson could not comment on whether Buchanan would be able to make bail, but that he would "make some calls" this afternoon. 

According to Newton Human Resources Director Dolores Hamilton, Buchanan worked for the city for more than 10 years. Since 2003, he has been employed as an audio/video classifier and worked out of an office on the second floor of the .

Buchanan's position has limited access to the public, Hamilton said. 

Hamilton clarified that Buchanan is not a librarian and works part-time. He has passed criminal record checks and has had no disciplinary action or complaints filed about him during his employment. 

Buchanan has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, Hamilton said. 

In a statement issued this afternoon, Mayor Setti Warren said the allegations against Buchanan are "extremely troubling."

"The allegations against Peter Buchanan are serious, and extremely troubling. If they are proven to be true, then he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The type of behavior that has been alleged has absolutely no place anywhere in our community," Warren said in the statement. 

Newton Free Library Director Nancy Pertlow said this afternoon the library will be referring comments and information to the city's Human Resources department. 

Buchanan is due back in court Feb. 13 for a pretrial conference.

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