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State worker out of a job in wake of child porn case

Target 12

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Department of Human Services employee, who was previously the subject of a Target 12 undercover investigation, Is out of a job in the wake of a child porn case.

The details came to light during Friday’s arraignment of Dennis Lopes, 64, of Scituate, who pleaded not guilty to one count each of electronically disseminating indecent material to a minor, indecent solicitation of a child he believed to be 14 years old, and soliciting a child to “produce and transfer child pornography.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Administration said Lopes resigned five days after his arrest.

Prosecutor Laura Nicholson asked the judge to forbid Lopes from accessing the internet and having contact with any juveniles under the age of 16.

Lopes’ attorney said because her client is now unemployed, he would need the internet to file for Social Security and search for a new job.

Nicholson objected, arguing there was “no way to monitor that.”

State Police booking photo of Dennis Lopes

The judge decided to allow internet access solely to file for Social Security but not any other use, including a job search.

Lopes was released on $10,000 personal recognizance and the case is scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 13.

A police report shows he was arrested in Warwick as a “result of an investigation involving Lopes soliciting a person whom he believed to be under the age 14 for sexual contact.”

In 2013, Target 12 reported Lopes was tasked with inspecting homes of low-income families that were weatherized to reduce energy costs. The state’s Weatherization Assistance Program is taxpayer- and ratepayer-funded.

An undercover investigation found Lopes would on occasion park his state vehicle behind his home then move it into the driveway at 3:30 p.m., which was the end of his shift.

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2013 Target 12 Investigation

Lopes was required to fill out daily logs that listed where he was working and when. Over the course of a month-long investigation, the records show 17 discrepancies where Lopes claimed he was throughout the state working, which Target 12 revealed through undercover video.

Tim White (twhite@wpri.com) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Providence

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