Eddington day-care provider sentenced to 11 months for child porn

Posted Sept. 02, 2010, at 10:57 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:33 a.m.
Walter Ramsdell of Eddington. (Photo curtesy of Penobscot County Jail)
Walter Ramsdell of Eddington. (Photo curtesy of Penobscot County Jail)
(BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT)



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Walter B. Ramsdell III looks over his shoulder after he is sentenced to 11 months behind bars for possession of child pornography at the Penobscot Juducial Center in Bangor on Thursday, September 2, 2010. (Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett)
(BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT) CAPTION Walter B. Ramsdell III looks over his shoulder after he is sentenced to 11 months behind bars for possession of child pornography at the Penobscot Juducial Center in Bangor on Thursday, September 2, 2010. (Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett)

BANGOR, Maine — The Eddington day care provider arrested in June for having child pornography on his home computer was sentenced Thursday to 11 months in prison after pleading no contest to a felony charge of possession of sexually explicit material.

Walter B. Ramsdell III, 40, will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years after he completes his sentence, Superior Court Justice Robert E. Murray said at the sentencing in the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Ramsdell did not address the judge, and no members of his family attended the sentencing hearing.

He faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Ramsdell was indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury in late June, about 2½ weeks after he was arrested on June 9 at his home, where the day care center was licensed. He was released a few days later on $1,000 cash bail and remained free until he began serving his prison term immediately after Thursday’s sentencing.

Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy and defense attorney Stephen Smith of Bangor jointly recommended the 11-month sentence to the court.

Investigators found that Ramsdell had shared child pornography about 300 times, Almy said after the sentencing.

Maine State Police were alerted by an Internet service provider in early June that someone at Ramsdell’s address was downloading child pornography, the prosecutor said. Law enforcement officials acted quickly when they learned Ramsdell’s wife was running a licensed day care center out of their home on Main Road in Ed-dington, Almy said in June.

Ramsdell was home recovering from a knee injury from a work-related incident when he downloaded the images, Smith told the judge Thursday.

“He had a lot of time on his hands and, as the saying goes, ‘Idle hands are the devil’s playground,’” the defense attorney said.

At an impromptu press conference after the sentencing, Smith said the impact Ramsdell’s arrest and prosecution have had on his client’s family has been more severe than any sentence the court could have imposed.

Ramsdell cooperated with police and confessed to downloading the images, Almy said at the sentencing hearing. The defendant also told investigators he knew that what he was doing was wrong, according to court documents.

The day care was licensed to Ramsdell’s wife, Kimberly Ramsdell, who works full time at a Bangor hospital, according to court documents. He was the primary caregiver in her absence. She was not suspected of being involved in the downloading of child pornography, authorities said in June.

When Ramsdell was arrested, one 18-month-old child was in the home, according to court documents. Fewer than 10 children used the day care, Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said in June, and most of them were at the Ramsdell home before and after school while their parents were at work.

The care center at the Ramsdell home closed when he was arrested and is no longer in operation, according to Almy.

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