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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Nashua firefighter faces federal child pornography charges

NASHUA – A member of Nashua Fire Rescue has been placed on home confinement following his first appearance in federal court on child pornography charges, according to documents posted on the U.S. District Court’s website earlier this month.

Stephen Cote, a Nashua fire department employee since December 1996, was indicted on one charge each of distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography at the federal court in Concord, according to court documents. ...

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NASHUA – A member of Nashua Fire Rescue has been placed on home confinement following his first appearance in federal court on child pornography charges, according to documents posted on the U.S. District Court’s website earlier this month.

Stephen Cote, a Nashua fire department employee since December 1996, was indicted on one charge each of distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography at the federal court in Concord, according to court documents.

The charges accused Cote of possessing and distributing images of children “engaging in sexually explicit conduct” between March 8 and June 25, 2013, according to court records.

Cote was arraigned Thursday and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device and to remain confined to his home except for work, school and some other activities.

He also was ordered to turn over a laptop computer, firearms and ammunition to a probation officer and to notify his employer of computer-related restrictions, according to court records.

Nashua fire officials did not know about Cote’s arrest when contacted by The Telegraph on Monday morning. Fire Chief Brian Morrissey said Cote had worked for the department since the mid-1990s and was off-duty over the weekend for a previously scheduled vacation.

“I haven’t seen anything as of yet,” Morrissey said. “I’m really not familiar with the charges.”

Morrissey said he will follow the department’s policy and notify the Board of Fire Commissioners, which will decide what, if any, disciplinary sanctions Cote could face. He said the board will likely hold a close-door meeting and could take actions ranging from nothing at all to a suspension. Cote earned $73,664.72 from the city last year in wages and overtime.

“Anything like this would be handled internally as a personnel matter,” Morrissey said.

Cote is being represented by Chuck Keefe, a Nashua attorney, and no further court hearings have been scheduled, according to documents posted on the court’s website.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).