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Nashua cops arrest three

NASHUA – City police observed Tuesday’s “Safer Internet Day,” a day set aside each year in February “to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children,” by arresting two men for possession of child sexual abuse images, as well as another for prohibited use of computer services and attempted felonious sexual assault.

“Safer Internet Day,” according to Nashua police Lt. Dan Mederos, was founded in Europe more than a decade ago, with the purpose of promoting safe internet use, especially by children and teens.

The observance is designed “to send the message that making the internet great for everybody takes everybody,” he said in a statement.

Nashua police, “in conjunction with the New Hampshire Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, wish to share the message about Safer Internet Day,” Mederos added.

As for Tuesday’s arrests, Mederos said they took place after months of investigation by detectives, task force members and Homeland Security personnel into “the sexual exploitation of children on the internet.”

Arrested were Nashua residents James Menento, 33, of 6 Stark St., and Larry Payton, 40, of 4 Cardinal Circle, along with John Lehto, 71, of 106 Billerica St., Lowell, Massachusetts.

Menento is charged with three counts of indecent exposure and lewdness, Class B felonies, and one count of possession of child sexual abuse images, Class A felony.

Payton is charged with five counts of possession of child sexual abuse images, Class A felonies.

Both men were booked on the charges and later released on personal recognizance bail, pending their Feb. 20 arraignments in Superior Court.

Lehto, meanwhile, is charged with one count each of certain uses of computer services prohibited, and attempted felonious sexual assault, Class B felonies. No information was provided regarding his bail conditions or arraignment date.

More information about Safer Internet Day can be found at Facebook.com/connectsafely.

Those with any additional information regarding the three cases, or anyone who wishes to anonymously report possible cases of child exploitation, is urged to contact the department’s Crime Line at 589-1665.

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256, or at dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com.

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