BANGOR, Maine — A former special education teacher has denied photographing himself engaged in sexually explicit conduct with three boys this summer and sharing the images online.
Patrik Ian Arsenault, 27, pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to three counts of sexual exploitation of a male minor child and one count each of transportation of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography.
Arsenault had been a teacher in a regional autism program Wayne Elementary School and was supposed to start at W.G. Mallett Elementary School in Farmington in the upcoming school year as a special education teacher in kindergarten through grade three, according to a previous published report.
Arsenault agreed to be held without bail pending the outcome of his federal case.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk tentatively scheduled his trial for Dec. 3.
Arsenault was arrested at his home in August by Maine State Police and agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a previously published report. He was charged in state court with gross sexual assault.
Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney told the Bangor Daily News in August that the incidents involving the boys allegedly occurred in Belgrade between June 15 and July 30. They are the children of someone Arsenault knows and have mental disabilities, she said.
“It’s really upsetting that he not only created the child pornography, but also distributed it on the Web,” the prosecutor said. “It hurts the victims every time it’s viewed by another person.”
Maloney said Wednesday in an email that the state case would move forward after the federal case is resolved.
If convicted on the federal charges, Arsenault faces between 15 and 40 years in federal prison. He faces up to 30 years in state prison if convicted of gross sexual assault.