Judge denies release for ex-prosecutor in child porn case

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 29, 2010, at 9:24 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge has denied a request by a former state prosecutor convicted of downloading child pornography that he be released while awaiting sentencing.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock ordered that James Cameron, 48, of Hallowell continue to be held without bail pending his sentencing.

A sentencing date is not expected to be set until after the first of the year.

Woodcock found Cameron, a former drug prosecutor with the Maine Attorney General’s Office, guilty on Aug. 23 after a jury-waived trial in Portland on 13 counts of sending, receiving and possessing child pornography. After announcing his verdict, Woodcock revoked Cameron’s bail and ordered that he be held pending sentencing.

Cameron’s attorney, Michael Cunniff of Portland, filed a motion on Oct. 14 asking that his client be released so he could resume sex therapy “concerning the subject matter of the indictment,” attend to a seriously ill relative, receive treatment for hypertension and attend to an unidentified family business so another family member may take it over while he is incarcerated in federal prison.

“Each person who commits a serious crime accepts the risk of conviction and incarceration and the trouble he will visit upon himself, and his family, friends and community, and if family concerns trumped mandatory detention, exceptions would become the rule,” Woodcock wrote in denying the motion, issued last Wednesday. “Furthermore, within the range of family consequences, Mr. Cameron has not demonstrated that his are truly exceptional.”

Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Cameron faces between nearly 22 years and slightly more than 27 years in federal prison.

“There is no evidence that Mr. Cameron is likely to flee if he is released and the history of this case strongly suggests otherwise, but Mr. Cameron faces an enormous amount of prison time,” Woodcock wrote in his 11-page order. “Having now been found guilty of the crimes alleged, there is a greater likelihood of serving this time than during his pre-trial release, and his flight potential is elevated.”

In considering Cameron’s request for release, Woodcock weighed the former prosecutor’s potential danger to the community.

“The court is concerned about the circumstances surrounding Mr. Cameron’s involvement in the case: the level of his general sophistication, the degree of his computer knowledge, the duration of his illicit conduct, the volume of illicit pornography, the ages of his preferred victims, the content of his e-mails, the profound and tragic depth of his obsession, and the extraordinary risks he took in order to view illegal images, particularly in light of what he had to lose,” the judge wrote. “Though Mr. Cameron correctly states that there is no evidence of any direct contact with underage children, the court cannot find that he poses no risk to children — directly or indirectly — if released, and it has not been provided with any evidence to the contrary.”

Cameron is being held at the Cumberland County Jail in Portland.

His attorney has said that Cameron’s conviction will be appealed to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/11/29/news/bangor/judge-denies-release-for-exprosecutor-in-child-porn-case/ printed on July 11, 2014