U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Massachusetts
(617) 748-3100
September 19, 2014

Merrimack College Professor Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography

BOSTON—The chairman of Merrimack College’s Civil Engineering Department was arrested today for possession of child pornography.

Gary S. Spring, 61, of Danvers, was charged in a criminal complaint with possession of child pornography. Spring was also the administrator of the college’s residential summer camp for middle and high school aged children.

According to the criminal complaint, in June 2014, Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass. uncovered suspicious activity associated with one of the college’s loaner computers through virus threat detection alerts. An internal investigation determined that the computer had been loaned out to Spring, and that Spring had been logged on during the time the alerts were triggered. Further investigation determined that the computer was used to access child pornography. Search warrants were executed at Spring’s office at Merrimack College and his residence in Danvers. Spring was arrested after it was confirmed that he possessed child pornography.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, five years to a lifetime supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; North Andover Police Chief Paul J. Gallagher, and Merrimack College Police Chief Michael DelGreco, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eve A. Piemonte Stacey of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.

Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information regarding this case should call 617-748-3274.

The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law.

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