Judge denies new trial to ex-prosecutor convicted for child porn

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 22, 2011, at 4:13 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — In denying a former state prosecutor’s request for a new trial, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock said last week the evidence proved that James Cameron “was obsessed with young girls and was determined to view pornographic images of them.”

Woodcock’s decision, issued Tuesday, moved Cameron, 48, of Hallowell one step closer to sentencing, even though a date for that hearing has not been set.

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

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

The motion for a new trial filed in September reiterated issues the judge had ruled against in pretrial motions and during the six-day trial.

They concerned: the admissibility of digital evidence; the proper venue and jurisdiction for prosecution; whether the judge accurately concluded without an expert witness’ opinion that the girls depicted in some of the images were under 18; if the Internet service provider was acting as a government agent; and whether the defendant had a right to confront the employee who actually searched for the images.

In addition to those arguments, Woodcock rejected the contention that Cameron did not intend to download child pornography

“Finally, the court rejects Mr. Cameron’s argument that the amount of child pornography — as opposed to adult pornography — linked to Mr. Cameron, compels the conclusion that his receipt and sending of child pornography was unintentional,” the judge wrote. “The court was presented with overwhelming evidence demonstrating Mr. Cameron’s obsession with girls between the ages of 10 and 14. Based on that evidence, the court finds that it is beyond a reasonable doubt that his possession, receipt, and transportation of child pornography was knowing and intentional.”

Defense attorney Michael Cunniff of Portland has said Cameron’s conviction will be appealed to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston after he is sentenced. The many motions Cunniff has filed in the case, including the motion for a new trial, are common steps in the appellate process.

In November, Woodcock refused Cameron’s request to be released while awaiting sentencing so he could resume sex therapy, 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.

Information about where Cameron is being held pending sentencing was not available over the weekend.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/01/22/news/bangor/judge-denies-new-trial-to-exprosecutor-convicted-for-child-porn/ printed on July 30, 2014