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Ex-Adams police officer indicted

The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
BYLINE: Conor Berry, Berkshire Eagle Staff

Adams, MA

PITTSFIELD -- A former Adams police officer who resigned after he was charged with downloading and viewing child pornography at the Adams Police Department has been indicted by a Berkshire grand jury.

Alan C. Vigiard, 45, of Pearl Street, Adams, pleaded not guilty in Berkshire Superior Court last week to nine counts of "knowingly possessing visual material of a child depicted in sexual conduct," according to the Berkshire District Attorney s Office.

Vigiard, who was released on $1,000 bail, declined to discuss his case on Saturday.

"Yeah, I have no comment," he said, before hanging up on a reporter.

The allegations date to Oct. 29, when Vigiard was confronted about the illicit images. Vigiard was placed on paid administrative leave after denying any wrongdoing at his Oct. 30 arraignment in Northern Berkshire District Court. He resigned from the Police Department shortly after that, though a precise date for his resignation was not immediately available.

Adams officials revealed in November that Vigiard had officially left the force. His reason for leaving was "to pursue retirement," according to Adams Town Administrator Jonathan Butler.

The probe was handled by the Adams Police Department and Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the office of District Attorney David F. Capeless.

Adams Police Chief Donald Poirot and state police launched the investigation after a folder containing images of child pornography was copied onto CDs with evidence for a larceny case that was forwarded to the district attorney's office. Investigators claim the photos contained images of males and females who were "clearly under the age of 18," as well as photos of clothed teenage girls who have been identified as being from the Adams area.

Also on the CDs were images and a video clip of a male engaged in a lewd act in front of a computer monitor, the reports state. The man s head is never in view, but the background was clearly identified as the evidence room of the Adams Police Department.

The man in the video had a distinctive scar on his left hand that matched a scar on Vigiard s hand at the time of his arrest, according to investigators. Vigiard is one of only four people with access to the Police Department evidence room, Poirot told state police.

The State Police Digital Evidence Unit was summoned to investigate the computers at the Adams Police Department, and Poirot contacted the town's network administrator to track Vigiard's account. The administrator said all computer accounts are protected by passwords, so it is not possible for someone to access an account other than his or her own.

The digital evidence unit found that time stamps reporting access to the pornographic files matched the times Vigiard had been logged into the system, according to case records.

Town officials could not be reached Saturday for comment, but it appears Vigiard may have to forfeit his pension.

According to Massachusetts General Law, municipal employees convicted of criminal offenses involving the violation of laws applicable to their office or position are not entitled to a retirement allowance.

However, they may be entitled to the return of their contributions to the retirement system, with no interest.

Material from the North Adams Transcript was used in this report.

To reach Conor Berry: ; (413) 496-6249.

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