Mainer arrested in child sex video case

Posted Jan. 20, 2009, at 7:36 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 10:53 a.m.

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Police have arrested a Bucksport man on charges of criminal solicitation in connection with a Web broadcast of the sexual assault of a 6-year-old boy in Michigan.

According to Sgt. Glenn Lang, supervisor of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit, Elmer Stevens, 42, was arrested Friday while police searched his home. The arrest came after an investigation with police officers in Michigan, who, with the Maine officers and others around the country, work jointly on the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.

In November, officers in Michigan arrested several people charged with sexual assaulting a 6-year-old boy and broadcasting the assault using a webcam for people who were watching. Police raided the location where the Web broadcast originated and rescued two children there, Lang said. The man who produced the webcast and one other person were arrested.

During their investigation, Michigan police officers developed a rapport with one of the suspects, who agreed to allow them to use his Web profile as part of their investigation to search for additional suspects. Stevens was identified as one of the people who was watching and who contacted the Web site requesting that they do it again, he said.

“They posed as the person who showed the webcam originally and people contacted them,” Lang said. “They cultivated a relationship with the people who were asking for this stuff. [Stevens] was identified as one of the people who contacted them.”

Police in Michigan contacted the Computer Crimes Unit in Maine on Jan. 15 with information about Stevens.

“We moved quickly on our target,” Lang said. “The next day we were through the door.”

Lang and Detective Laurie Northrup worked with Bucksport police officers gathering information for the search warrant and conducting the search of Stevens’ apartment on Friday. At the apartment, police confiscated the laptop computer that Stevens allegedly was using to communicate with the Web site.

“He freely admitted his involvement in this,” Lang said.

Officers at the Computer Crime Unit will conduct a forensic examination of Stevens’ computer and determine whether additional charges will be filed.

That process will take some time, Lang said, because the unit’s lab is backed up with other computer crime cases, mainly child pornography, exploitation and solicitation cases.

The unit deals with hundreds of cases each year, but Lang said this was unusual.

“Criminal solicitation usually involves someone trying to coerce a child or lure a child [into a sexual act],” Lang said. “We don’t often have an adult-to-adult contact where they’re asking someone to assault the child.”

Stevens was arrested Friday, Jan. 16, and processed at the Bucksport police station. He was released on bail with conditions, including that he have no contact with children. He has been scheduled for arraignment on April 21.

The Maine State Police also are working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which will determine whether federal charges will be filed.

Stevens’ arrest was not coordinated with any other arrests in connection with the Michigan webcast, and Lang said he did not know whether other arrests had been made in other states. No other Maine suspects have been identified in connection with that webcast.

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