NEWBURY — A New Hampshire man charged with child enticement and sending obscene matter to a minor after chatting with a person who turned out to be an undercover Newbury police officer posted $15,000 cash bail shortly after his arraignment Thursday in Newburyport District Court.
Thomas Charron, 43, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was also charged with distributing obscene matter following a months-long investigation that culminated in his arrest by local police at his home Thursday morning. Police say he thought he was chatting online with a teenage girl.
While awaiting trial, Charron must not have any contact with children under 18 or access social media, must remain drug and alcohol free with random screens, must not have any firearms or dangerous weapons and must not commit any new offenses. He is due back in court Oct. 15 for a pretrial hearing.
Court records show Quincy police arrested and charged Charron with enticement of a child under 16 in 2017 after he was found in a basement with a 15-year-old girl.
He was also being investigated by Manchester, New Hampshire, police for allegedly chatting with an undercover officer posing as a 12-year-old boy on a social media app.
Newbury police Detective Sgt. Aaron Wojtkowski’s investigation of Charron began July 9 when the officer was posing as a 13-year-old girl on a web-based chat room known to attract those seeking sexual relations with minors. He saw a posting reading “anyone in New Hampshire on the site’s bulletin board from a person who identified himself as “DJ Tom.” Wojtkowski responded to the posting and struck up a conversation with DJ Tom, according to his report.
“The display name was Tom Charon. The account also displayed an image of what appeared to be a white male wearing glasses and clown face mask,” Wojtkowski wrote in his report.
The conversation quickly became sexual in nature, including Charron asking what bra size the teen wore.
Eventually, Wojtkowski asked an undercover officer to pose as the teen for a video call with Charron. During that call the officer captured Charron’s face on video, allowing Wojtkowski to confirm that it was Charron making the call.
By July 20, Charron was telling Wojtkowski that he wanted the child to touch him and sent the detective an eggplant emoji, a common online symbol for a man’s genitalia.
At one point, Charron asked if Wojtkowski was working for a police department, “suggesting he is aware of the inherent unlawful nature of the conduct,” Wojtkowski wrote.
On Aug. 5, Charron sent Wojtkowski a photo of a man’s genitalia just after asking Wojtkowski to send him one of “her” so he could masturbate.
By Aug. 11, Charron was telling Wojtkowski that he would like to meet in a wooded area for sex. That activity never took place, however, as Charron told the officer he was scared. It was around this time that Wojtkowski applied for an arrest warrant. He based the warrant on Charron’s criminal history and having enough probable cause to charge him with the three offenses.
“I know that online offenders rarely limit contact to one victim,” he added in his report.
Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.