BOSTON - Former Boston nanny Stephanie Lak was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday after changing her plea to guilty in a child pornography case.
Lak, 37, of Roxbury, was arrested April 28, 2021 after Boston Police got a cyber tip about her from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She was charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of material of a child in a sex act.
She returned to Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday morning and pleaded guilty to all five charges in the case.
Judge Michael Doolin sentenced Lak to three years and one day in state prison in Framingham followed by 10 years of probation. She has already served 385 days.
Lak broke down crying several times during the hearing Wednesday as disturbing details about the case were read aloud in court.
"These are horrible crimes they're shocking and it's some of the worst allegations that I've heard in my career as a judge and also in my career as an attorney," Doolin said.
"All child pornography is bad. This defendant's collection was particularly horrifying," said prosecutor Nicole Poirier. She told the court Lak also sent photos of children in her own care.
"The defendant engaged in some of the most grotesque online chats, discussing ways to sexually abuse children that the Commonwealth has ever heard. Within one of these chats the defendant sent photos, again not child pornography, but photos of the real children that she babysat for," Poirier told the court.
Lak's attorney Christopher Kenney said his client is extremely remorseful and takes responsibility.
"She was a victim of physical abuse. She was a victim of sexual abuse and she can't believe that she finds herself in this situation. (She) identifies with the victims in this case and more or less wants to move forward with her life, engage in any kind of treatment," Kenney said.
At her arraignment in April 2021, prosecutors said Lak was active on the child care websites Sittercity and Care.com and had a long history as a babysitter and nanny.
Once she completes her prison sentence, she will have to register as a sex offender and will be on probation with strict rules, including prohibiting her from bring a nanny.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to please email Lakinvestigation@fbi.gov.
Parents can learn more about the signs of child abuse here.
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