BANGOR, Maine — A convicted sex offender who was sentenced Monday to more than 12 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography was sentenced Wednesday in state court to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing a child.
Walter A. Mosher Jr., 65, of Hampden pleaded guilty in November to one count of gross sexual assault. Because the child was under the age of 14 at the time of the abuse, Mosher faced up to life in prison.
Superior Court Justice Kevin Cuddy ordered that the 30-year state sentence be served concurrently to the federal sentence of 12 years and seven months. Once Mosher completes his federal sentence, he will be transferred from a facility run by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to one operated by the Maine Department of Corrections, the judge said.
Because Cuddy imposed a sentence longer than the one negotiated between Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins and defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor, Mosher could have withdrawn his guilty plea and gone to trial. He chose not to do that.
“I accept your sentence,” Mosher told Cuddy, after the defendant consulted with his attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor.
The plea agreement allowed Mosher to withdraw his guilty plea if the sentence was longer than 16½ years.
Cuddy said that he imposed the long sentence to ensure that the public was protected from Mosher, who spent 11 years in prison for abusing 15 Aroostook County children in 1985 and 1986.
“The issue that resonates with me, Mr. Mosher, is the protection of the public,” Cuddy said. “How does one protect the people of Penobscot County and Aroostook County and the state of Maine? That to me is a guiding factor in evaluating what sentence should be imposed.”
Mosher was arrested March 16, 2012, on the federal charge. He confessed the abuse of the child to his attorney, who arranged for Mosher to meet with law enforcement officials and prosecutors.
“I am deeply, deeply ashamed and humiliated,” Mosher told Cuddy. “I am desperately sorry for what I’ve done.”
Although relatives of the victim attended the sentencing Monday in federal court, they did not come to state court Wednesday.
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.
When his computer was seized in May 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.
According to court documents, Mosher’s computer contained images of child pornography, specifically digital images and videos that were produced using minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Mosher pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in June in federal court.
Because of his 1986 convictions, Mosher faced a minimum of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.