Former state police captain indicted on child porn charges


Staff Writer

Published: 01-02-2023 11:29 AM

NORTHAMPTON — A retired Massachusetts State Police captain and Amherst resident has been indicted on eight counts related to possession and distribution of child pornography by a Hampshire County Court grand jury. 

Francis Hart, 62, was arrested at his Amherst home in August 2021 following an investigation by the state police Cyber Crimes Unit and the attorney general’s office following information received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Hart had been a trooper assigned to the state fire marshal’s office, and a Massachusetts State Police detective captain before retiring.

During the arrest, several of Hart’s devices were seized, including desktop computers, external hard drives and an iPhone. The devices contained images alleged to be child pornography, according to the attorney general’s office. 

Hart was indicted on Dec. 22 on seven counts of possession of child pornography and one count of dissemination of child pornography. According to investigators, Hart allegedly sent images depicting child pornography from his iPhone to another person outside of the state. 

Hart is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges in Hampshire Superior Court at a later date.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Vanessa Madge of the attorney general’s Criminal Bureau and Special Assistant Attorney General Stephanie Jimenez, with assistance from Massachusetts State Police assigned to the attorney general’s office, Massachusetts State Police Cyber Crimes and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Amherst Police, and the AG’s Digital Evidence Laboratory.