Josh Wairi, is/was a 27-year-old Somerville resident and 5th grade teacher at the Garham and Parks School. The school is in my stomping grounds…Cambridge…not far from my primary office. Any thought of presumption of innocence aside, you will not be finding him at that school anymore, at least in the near future.
Mr. Wairi is now also known as the “Defendant”. His case is pending in federal court. The charges involve the possession and dissemination of child pornography. He is further charged with having created such material by recording children changing their clothes. He was arrested yesterday at his home following a federal investigation.
According to law enforcement, the Defendant actually confessed to having been involved in the exchange of child pornography, videos and images, over the Internet.
He is said to have further admitted to using a cell phone and a hidden camera in order to record children changing in and out of their clothing. An affidavit filed with the court apparently indicates that he “…admitted to secretly videotaping and using a camera cell phone to videotape children changing in and out of clothes on more than one occasion. He also admitted to setting up and hiding a video camera in a locker room in order to videotape children changing in and out of clothes."
According to the Boston Globe, the Defendant is also said to have offered babysitting services on Craigslist. Additionally, a "friend" of the Defendant’s reportedly claims that there was a daycare in the building where the Defendant lived.
Cambridge Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Young sent a letter to members of the community Thursday night, explaining that the allegations are deeply disturbing and re-affirming that the school system is “committed to providing all members of our school community with a safe environment for teaching and learning. Consistent with our standard practice in the face of serious allegations, Mr. Wairi was immediately placed on administrative leave.”
Young also wrote that two community meetings would be held to answer questions and hear concerns. Those meetings are set to be held at the school auditorium at the Graham and Parks School on Wednesday, April 23 at 6 p.m. and on Tuesday, April 29 at 6 p.m.
There are reports that, despite the Defendant’s apparent confession, the school actually insists that no such video recordings took place there.
According to various media outlets, the initial tip which began the investigation came from AOL. We will be discussing that more directly on Monday.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Making Admissions Without Counsel
I had various reactions to this story.
Given what I do for a living, one of those reactions is the bewilderment that the Defendant, instead of exercising his right to remain silent or call an attorney, chose to make what appears to be a full confession.
Clearly, as anyone would be, he had to have been frightened out of his mind upon being confronted and questioned by federal investigators. I would think, though, that one of the thoughts racing through his head had to have been “how can I help myself here?”
While it is true that there might be some value in being able to claim, down the road, that he “cooperated fully” and “admitted responsibility” immediately upon being confronted, when one looks at the enormity of the situation, that is not likely to offset the gold nuggets of evidence that he has now provided the prosecution in what was obviously going to be a high profile case.
“Maybe he is making a deal.”
That could be, particularly given that it is the feds and there are apparently other contacts he must have had with others dealing in child pornography. But, if he thought he was going to broker that deal himself with the investigators, he was sadly mistaken. As we have discussed in the past, the prosecutor would have to be involved with any such deal and, again, the Defendant would be fool to try to do it without an experienced criminal defense lawyer
“Could he have been lied to and misled by the investigators?”
Of course, that is always a possibility, although federal investigators are generally more careful with that sort of thing.
The bottom line, though, is that he is 27 years old and, unless he gets very lucky, his life as he knew it could be over. Such luck, I suggest, includes the right experienced criminal defense attorney.
“What do you care if life as he knew it is over? If he is guilty, as he seems to be agreeing that he is, doesn’t he deserve whatever they give him?”
Absolutely not. Let’s deal with that question as well as other related issues in this case on Monday.
In the meantime, have a great, safe and law-abiding weekend.
To read the original story upon which this blog is based please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/04/17/cambridge-elementary-school-teacher-facing-child-porn-charges/zfaxgtYCoUHcCOa8Jzsn5J/story.html