Getting Answers: Holyoke city councilor addresses bail violation

Getting Answers: Holyoke city councilor addresses bail violation
Updated: Nov. 11, 2022 at 4:55 PM EST
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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - There’s more legal trouble for Holyoke City Councilor Wilmer Puello-Mota. The Rhode Island Attorney General’s office has filed a notice of bail violation in his child pornography case.

During a hearing Thursday, the court allowed Puello-Mota to admit that he had violated a condition of his bail by having contact with children when he attended a Halloween party at Morgan Elementary School in Holyoke last month. Western Mass News spoke with the city councilor, who said he was unaware that was part of his bail stipulation.

“I personally didn’t know that there was a no contact order and the reason I’m here today is because none of our paperwork says that. None of our paperwork says there was a no contact order,” Puello-Mota explained.

The court eventually released Puello-Mota on personal recognizance, meaning the court will release the defendant from jail on their word or promise to appear on their scheduled day and time in court. During a city council meeting on November 1, you can hear councilor David Bartley speaking about the event in question.

“Will and myself, we just had a line for 45 minutes of children in costumes...just it was a really great event and another half hour with sporadic attendance. It was really well attended, very well organized by the Morgan staff and we were happy to participate,” Bartley said.

“This was an event that we attended to support kids to support our ward to support people and we were having a good time in our ward,” Puello-Mota added.

To remind you, court documents from Warwick District Court in Rhode Island revealed Puello-Mota was charged in September 2020 with knowingly possessing images and videos of a 17-year-old on his computer. The investigation began when police responded to a Rhode Island hotel in May 2020 for a report of a stolen firearm. At that point, according to court documents obtained by Western Mass News “…a 17 year old juvenile female from Smithfield, R.I. indicated to officers that Wilmer Puello-Mota, who owned the gun, was her ‘sugar daddy’” and “…detectives learned from the victim that the defendant provided her money through Venmo in exchange for sexually explicit photos of her…”

Puello-Mota stated he learned she was 17 years of age after initially believing she was 22. Puello-Mota also shared this about the most recent incident involving the Halloween party at a Holyoke school

“Basically, this complaint, it didn’t originate from a parent, it didn’t originate from anybody having a concern or Holyoke police officers, nothing like that. This came from somebody on the council that sent a picture that was taken and posted it on Facebook,” Puello-Mota said.

We have reached out to every Holyoke city councilor on Friday for comment regarding this matter, but we have not yet heard back.