Ex-prosecutor waives jury trial on child pornography charges

Posted June 29, 2010, at 12:48 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:36 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A former Maine assistant attorney general on Tuesday waived his right to a jury trial on charges of downloading child pornography on his home computer.

James Cameron, 48, of Hallowell agreed to a bench trial in U.S. District Court in Portland. The trial is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16, before U.S. District Judge John Woodcock.

Cameron’s jury trial was scheduled to be held in April but was delayed when he changed attorneys. Michael Cuniff of Portland now represents the former head drug prosecutor for the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

The reasons Cameron changed attorneys were not outlined in court documents.

Cuniff declined Tuesday to comment on the trial, citing federal court rules of procedure which prohibit attorneys from speaking to reporters so close to trial.

It is the practice of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting Cameron, not to comment on cases until they have been concluded.

Cameron remains free on $75,000 unsecured bail. Bail conditions, including wearing an electronic monitor and having limited use of the Internet, remain in place, according to court documents.

The investigation that led to the charges began in December 2007. Computers at Cameron’s Hallowell home were seized, according to court documents, after an Internet service provider reported it had discovered images of child pornography downloaded by an e-mail address traced to Cameron’s residence.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Bangor on Feb. 11, 2009. Cameron pleaded not guilty to 16 counts related to the downloading and possession of child pornography six days later in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

If convicted, Cameron faces a minimum of five years but not more than 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.