Hampden sex offender admits having child porn on computer

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted June 13, 2012, at 2:42 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A convicted sex offender from Hampden pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to possessing child pornography.

Walter Mosher, 64, is listed on the Maine Sex Offender Registry for a 1986 case that resulted in convictions in Aroostook County Superior Court in Houlton on charges of gross sexual misconduct, unlawful sexual contact and sexual exploitation of a minor under the age of 14.

He has been held without bail since his arraignment in March, when he pleaded not guilty to the federal charge.

Mosher’s computer contained images of child pornography, specifically digital images and videos that were produced using minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock on Wednesday allowed Mosher to make a short statement after he entered his guilty plea. Defendants typically do not address the court until they are sentenced.

“I am ashamed about this,” Mosher said. “I wish I could have sought help, but I was too scared to reach out.”

Mosher told Woodcock that from November 2011 until he was arraigned and detained in March 2012, he was seeing a psychiatrist.

In March 2010, Mosher came to the attention of investigators in the Child Exploitation Section of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after its Cyber Crimes Center received information from the National Centre for Combating Pedophilia Online, a division of the Italian State Police Postal and Communication Service, according to the prosecution version of events to which Mosher pleaded guilty.

The Italian Postal and Communication Police Service is the specialized unit in charge of tackling high-tech crimes, including child pornography, perpetrated in Italy using the Internet, according to the website for the Virtual Global Task Force. The task force is made up of law enforcement agencies around the world that have formed a network to combat online child sexual abuse, its website says.

Information gathered by the law enforcement agency in Italy identified a website offering access to child pornographic images and video files, according to the prosecution version of events. Mosher had accessed child pornograpy images from that website.

When a search warrant was executed on May 18, 2011, Mosher admitted that he had downloaded the images to his computer and that he had tried to wipe them from his hard drive to hide them, according to the prosecution version of events.

A forensic examination of Mosher’s computer uncovered at least 18 still images and at least one video containing child pornography, court documents said.

Because of his prior convictions, Mosher faces a minimum of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum of 20 years. He also could be ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution to any victims who might seek it.

A sentencing date has not been set.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/13/news/bangor/hampden-sex-offender-admits-having-child-porn-on-computer/ printed on July 25, 2014