Merrimack sex offender now facing federal child pornography charges

CONCORD – Federal prosecutors have taken over a child pornography case against a Merrimack man arrested earlier this year.

Keith Burns, 41, of 11 Camp Sargent Road, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 4 and is facing a single count of receipt of child pornography. Burns’ case has been on hold at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua while the U.S. Attorney’s Office decided whether to indict him, according to court records.

Burns was arrested in March, about five years after being released from prison as a registered sexual offender.

He was facing multiple counts at the superior court, according to court records. He was indicted in June by a grand jury, but nothing more happened with the case pending the federal review.

Burns had been charged with four counts of possession of child pornography accusing him of having pictures of a sexual nature of a girl who was 12 or 13 years old at the time. He faces another count of certain uses of computer services prohibited, charging that he spoke with a juvenile victim through Facebook and that those conversations were sexual, according to court records.

The federal indictment charges him with knowingly receiving two digital images that involved a “minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” according to court records.

Burns has an extensive criminal history that dates back to at least 1992. Most recently he was convicted of indecent exposure and lewdness in 2003 and served five years in prison.

He also was convicted of indecent exposure and lewdness in Newport in 1992 and spent 60 days in jail, according to Merrimack police prosecutor Melissa Kowalewski.

Burns was convicted of aggravated felonious sexual assault in 1993 and served nine months in jail, with a deferred sentence of five to 10 years in state prison, Kowalewski said.

He was arrested most recently following an investigation by Merrimack, Milford and Portsmouth police, as well as the Jackson County (Ore.) Sheriff’s Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, police said.

Oregon authorities notified local police and ICAC that a 13-year-old girl there had been targeted by a predator in New Hampshire, who had coaxed her to send nude photos over the Internet, police said.

The girl thought she was sending the photos to a boy her age, police said.

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