Man accused of possessing child porn wants to suppress evidence

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted June 27, 2013, at 5:33 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — A man charged with two dozen counts of possession of child pornography is seeking to suppress evidence in the case.

Forrest Sapiel, 32, of Pleasant Point is facing 24 counts of possession of sexually explicit material of a minor under the age of 12, according to documents filed in Washington County Superior Court.

Sapiel’s defense attorney, Norman Toffolon of Machias, claims in court documents that police did not have a warrant or permission on April 26, 2012, to enter or search the Lafayette Street home where he was living at the time. Toffolon also writes in court documents that Sapiel asked police to leave and they refused, and when he asked to speak with an attorney his request was ignored by police, who continued to ask questions.

Contacted Thursday by phone, Toffolon declined to comment on Sapiel’s case.

According to a police affidavit filed in Washington County Superior Court, Maine State Police sought and were granted a search warrant after Sapiel refused to let police enter when they asked to inspect computers in his home. After they obtained a search warrant, police seized three computers in the house, one of which was a laptop that they claim contained “thousands of images of child pornography,” the affidavit indicates.

The state police computer crimes task force went to Sapiel’s home after they determined that an Internet service provider account that allegedly was being used to access child pornography was registered to someone who lived at Sapiel’s address.

While police searched computers at Sapiel’s home, Sapiel exercised his right to be silent and then was arrested, the affidavit said.

According to court documents, Sapiel later was released from jail on a $15,000 bail lien and, as part of his bail conditions, is to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 except his daughter, who was 2 years old at the time of his arrest. Sapiel is not allowed to have unsupervised contact with his daughter, court documents indicate.

Attempts on Thursday to contact Paul Cavanaugh, first assistant district attorney for Washington County, were unsuccessful.

A hearing on the motion to dismiss has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 2, in Washington County Superior Court in Machias.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/27/news/down-east/man-accused-of-possessing-child-porn-wants-to-suppress-evidence/ printed on September 19, 2014