Jury finds Sanford man guilty of producing, distributing child porn

Posted May 10, 2012, at 7:32 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A jury Thursday found a Sanford man guilty of production, distribution and possession of child pornography after a four-day trial in U.S. District Court.

Royce Breton, 32, produced child pornography involving an infant, according to a press release issued Thursday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The victim in the case was a female relative of Breton’s between the ages of 6 months and a year, according to court documents. A sexually explicit photo was taken between Jan. 11, 2008, and Aug. 24, 2010, according to the indictment.

The jury also found that Breton had distributed child pornography and possessed more than 300 images of child pornography on a laptop computer recovered from his residence. That conduct took place between January 2009 and Aug. 16, 2010, according to the indictment.

“Mr. Breton continues to believe in the criminal justice system despite the jury verdict,” defense attorney Timothy Zerillo of Portland said in an email after the verdict was announced. “While no decision has been made yet, and will not be made until after sentencing, he will be strongly considering an appeal to the [U.S.] First Circuit [Court of Appeals in Boston]. He continues to assert his innocence and hopes that he will be vindicated.”

Breton has been held without bail since he was arrested on federal charges in July. He will continue to be held without bail until his sentencing.

Originally, Breton was charged in York County Superior Court before federal prosecutors became involved, according to court documents.

The investigation that led to Breton’s conviction began in the summer of 2010 as a complaint of an invasion of computer privacy lodged with the Lewiston Police Department, according to court documents. Detectives traced the IP address to Breton’s home address in Sanford. Breton gave investigators a computer, according to court documents. His then-wife a few days later turned a laptop over to police.

At the time, Breton was employed at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

working on nuclear submarines, according to information in a motion to suppress filed by Zerillo. Breton also was taking pre-med classes at the University of New England with plans to attend medical school.

U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby scheduled Breton’s sentencing for Sept. 5 in federal court in Portland. Breton, who has no criminal record, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison on the production charge, the most serious count.

The investigation was conducted by the Sanford Police Department, the Lewiston Police Department, the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit, the U.S. Secret Service and the High Tech Investigative Unit of the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, according to the press release.

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