The nation’s first openly transgender legislator in a statehouse, Stacie Laughton of New Hampshire, nee Barry C. Laughton Jr., was arrested by Nashua police on Thursday for falsely reporting a bomb threat at the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center on Feb. 27. Laughton admitted the crime to police, prompting the arrest. Laughton’s admission came amidst a two-week stay at the Brattleboro Retreat, a mental health and addiction treatment facility in Vermont, for treatment of a bipolar disorder.
As Barry Laughton Jr. in 2008, Laughton was charged with a felony for fraudulent use of a credit card, conspiracy to commit identity fraud and falsifying physical evidence. In 2012, as Stacie Laughton, Laughton won a seat as a House member for Ward 4 in Nashua, resigning after the revelation of the 2008 felony. Later that year, Laughton’s job as a Nashua Ward 4 selectman, won in a 2011 municipal election, was invalidated because Laughton had not completed the terms of the felony conviction; Laughton had not paid almost $2,000 in restitution.
Likely to be charged her with a felony count of falsely reporting an explosive, on Thursday Laughton told the New Hampshire Union Leader, “I have had a mental illness my whole life, and I guess this was my worst break with it. I was untreated for a long time, and I didn't have medication. I wasn't trying to hurt anyone, and it was totally out of character for me. I have put a lot behind me, and I never thought I would do this in a million years.
Laughton said the actions in the bomb threat were no the result of being under the influence.
Laughton said Thursday, “I never thought I would see the inside of a police station again. I am extremely remorseful. I have been crying frequently, and I wish I had never done it.”