BOSTON – A United States Postal Service employee was re-arrested today after law enforcement discovered evidence that he sexually exploited a child sometime between 1999 and 2001.
Stephen Mantha, 62, of Spencer, was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed today with sexually exploiting a minor boy sometime between 1999 and 2001. Mantha was originally charged on Sept. 21, 2016, with possession of child pornography and accessing with the intent to view child pornography. He was arrested at that time, but was released to home detention on Sept. 26, 2016 pending trial.
It is alleged that, beginning in the summer of 2015, USPS Office of Inspector General investigators were alerted to suspicious internet searches being conducted by Mantha on a computer at the Shrewsbury processing and distribution center where he worked as an electronic technician. A subsequent investigation revealed that Mantha was using the USPS computer to search for, and view, images of child pornography on the internet.
On Sept. 21, 2016, a search warrant was executed at Mantha’s residence where computers, DVDs/CDs, video cassettes, an external hard drive, and over a dozen thumb drives were recovered. A preliminary on-scene forensic review of three of the thumb drives revealed images of child pornography. Since that time, federal agents have continued to review the materials and discovered a video of Mantha sexually assaulting a young boy, approximately seven years old. According to court documents, federal agents located and interviewed the victim depicted in the video (now an adult), and the victim confirmed the sexual exploitation.
The charge of sexual exploitation of a child provides for a mandatory minimum of 10 years and no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of 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; Eileen Neff, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Chief David Darrin of the Spencer Police Department; and Chief James Hester, Jr. of the Shrewsbury Police Department, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Grady of Ortiz’s Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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/.