Aug 28, 2014
Aug 21, 2014
Aug 14, 2014
Jul 24, 2014
Ex-bus driver gets 160 years in child abuse
"Rather than be their custodian, he was their predator. He was their pornographer and their tormentor," U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire John P. Kacavas said.
Wright, 47, formerly of Milton, parked his bus on the side of roads and in parking lots, then raped the boys - ages 4, 4½ and 8 - while wearing sunglasses equipped with a battery-operated digital camera, Kacavas said in U.S. District Court.
While the victims - who also are developmentally disabled - are seen on his videotapes "screaming, crying out and trying to resist" Wright's assaults, their disabilities made the unable to communicate with their parents or teachers, Kacavas said.
"These children were prisoners of their disabilities and the defendant knew it," the prosecutor added of Wright, who he said drove a special needs school bus from 2008 until his arrest in 2011.
"I classify it as torture," Kacavas said after the one-hour sentencing hearing.
Two boys were assaulted in New Hampshire between Nov. 1, 2010, and April 30, 2011. One was assaulted in New Hampshire and Maine between July 1 and July 31, 2011.
None of the victims or their families were in court, Kacavas said.
Defense attorney Harry N. Starbranch immediately appealed the sentence to the First Circuit Court in Boston.
Starbranch pressed Judge Steven J. McAuliffe to impose a 25-year sentence with mental health treatment to be followed by full supervision upon release.
Wright suffers from an unspecified psychotic disorder and schizophrenia, he said.
"He had a horrific childhood. (There was) both physical and sexual abuse in his household," Starbranch said.
Wright, he added, was unable to hold down a job, was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army and has no criminal record.
While McAuliffe agreed Wright likely suffers from major mental illnesses, he imposed the maximum 160-year penalty and ordered him to undergo sexual offender treatment.
"These crimes are terribly destructive," McAuliffe said.
"The primary issue for me is the need to protect the public, and the need to protect the public warrants a life sentence," the judge explained.
Wright's wife, Charlotte, wept quietly in her front row seat behind her husband. Wright cast a slight smile at his wife and blew her a kiss as U.S. marshals led him from the courtroom in handcuffs.
Wright's school bus exploits were discovered by members of the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in 2011 when they found him downloading and trading child pornography, Kacavas said.
Upon executing a search warrant at his Milton home, authorities found thousands of child sexual assault images. A subsequent federal search warrant revealed evidence linking Wright to the production of the videos. Wright was has been in custody since his indictment in October 2011.
Cases pending against Wright by the states of New Hampshire and Maine likely won't be prosecuted given the lengthy prison sentence he received, Kacavas said.
Rochester, New London, Dover and Kittery, Maine, police departments, the FBI, and Strafford County Attorney's office also investigated the case.
Wright was prosecuted under Project Safe Childhood, a national initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Police say North Hampton man distributed child sex abuse images - 0
- Sexual assault charge in Keene - 0
- Keene man charged with threatening Nelson teen with gun - 0
- More details released about Nashua drive-by shooting - 0
- Portsmouth man charged with two felony drug counts - 0
- Affidavits show woman was shot as feds conducted downtown Manchester drug raid - 0
- Newton man charged with kidnapping, sexual assault of 15-year-old Mass. girl - 1
- Two felony charges for alleged Portsmouth drug dealer - 0
- Nashua man arrested in violent purse snatching - 0
READER COMMENTS: 1
- On Baseball: Fisher Cats manager Meacham learned a few things, too - 0
- First and 10: Old No. 1 begins as new No. 1 - 0
- NHIAA Girls' Soccer Preview: All eyes on Bedford, Exeter - 0
- Another View -- Dan McGuire: We Free Staters are not some threat to be feared - 0
- Taxpayer rights: Left, right should restore them - 0
- Hooksett highs: A good multiple choice test - 1
- No paper Monday - 0
- Patriots' Garoppolo solid, but Giants eke out 16-13 win in preseason finale - 0
- Education business tax credit program upheld - 0
Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you
Enter to win tickets to see Paula Poundstone
Win tickets to see Steven Wright
Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you
- Mass. Supreme Judicial Court has found upskirt photos taken on a subway aren't illegal. Should such voyeurism be a crime?
- Total Votes: 917