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School bus driver from Keene accused of producing child sex abuse material

U.S. District Court in Concord, New Hampshire. NHPR photo by Ali Oshinskie.
Ali Oshinskie
U.S. District Court in Concord, New Hampshire. NHPR photo by Ali Oshinskie.

A Keene husband and wife are facing federal charges after allegedly producing and sharing child sex abuse material.

Paul and Krystal Baird were both taken into custody Wednesday morning after authorities allegedly found illicit images on Paul Baird’s cell phone.

According to court documents, an undercover U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent communicated with Baird through a chat service on the dark web, which allows users to communicate and share information anonymously, after he allegedly posted more than two dozen images in recent months. Authorities say they used location and cell phone records to track the communications and images to Baird.

During an interview with authorities, Krystal Baird allegedly admitted to taking some of the photos found on her husband’s cell phone.

Paul Baird, 43, was a school bus driver for Student Transportation of America, which the ConVal Regional School District uses for student bus services. In a statement, Conval Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo-Saunders said STA immediately fired Baird upon learning of his arrest.

“It does not appear at this time that the arrest is connected to any activity involving our students and staff, or any District-related activity,” said Rizzo-Saunders. “The District appreciates its partnerships with local law enforcement and STA, and thanks STA for its swift response.”

Paul Baird made his initial appearance in federal court on Wednesday, where he was detained pending a bail hearing scheduled for Friday.

Krystal Baird was also scheduled for an initial appearance in court Wednesday afternoon.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.