November 10, 2019
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Former Bangor school official facing child porn charges will stay out on bail while case proceeds

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Alan Kochis makes his first appearance in court on Wednesday for two counts of possession of illegal material.

A former top-ranking official with the Bangor School Department who allegedly uploaded a sexually explicit image of two young boys to the internet last winter made his first appearance before a judge Wednesday morning.

The first court appearance of Alan Kochis, 62, of Brewer came almost three weeks after police arrested him and charged him with two counts of possession of sexually explicit material. Kochis had resigned from his job as the school department’s finance director in August, before his arrest.

At the Wednesday morning court appearance, Superior Court Justice William Anderson agreed that Kochis could remain out on bail until his next court date on Nov. 12. Anderson added a condition to the bail that Kochis not be allowed to use electronic devices that can access the internet with one exception.

According to the amended bail condition, Kochis is allowed to have access to email on a designated cell phone. The Penobscot County District Attorney’s office will have the number to this cell phone, according to Kochis’ lawyer, Jeffrey Silverstein.

Prosecutors and Kochis’ attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein, did not comment on the case.

Kochis came to the attention of the Maine State Police computer crimes unit after he allegedly uploaded a sexually explicit image of two young boys — one between ages 5 and 8 and the other between ages 9 and 13, according to police estimations — to Bing Image in February, according to an affidavit filed in court.

State police searched his Brewer home in May, seized electronic devices and found more than 200 sexually explicit images of children. Kochis had downloaded sexually explicit photos and videos to a computer on which he used his Bangor School Department email address as a login credential, according to a court affidavit.

After his arrest on Aug. 22, Kochis was taken to the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor. He was released the next morning after posting $500 bail, with conditions that include no unsupervised contact with minors under 18.

Maine State Police received a report of the image Kochis allegedly uploaded from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which monitors child pornography possession and dissemination online.

Law enforcement officials traced the image to Kochis using his device’s Internet Protocol, or IP, address.

Kochis worked for the Bangor School Department for more than 20 years. As the top finance official, he helped to formulate the school department’s annual budget and oversaw its accounting system. Kochis told Maine State Police that he did not have regular contact with students as part of his job, and, despite his history of being interested in child pornography, he told police he would not touch a minor.

The Bangor School Department placed Kochis on administrative leave and initiated termination proceedings after he reported on July 26 that he was under investigation, according to Superintendent Betsy Webb.

He resigned effective Aug. 9, before the termination proceedings were completed, Webb said. Kochis’ job is still posted through the school department website.

In addition to his position at the Bangor School Department, Kochis also served as a high school football and basketball referee in the Bangor area as well as a statistician at University of Maine athletic games.

Doug Ferguson, secretary and assigner for the Bangor chapter of the Maine Association of Football Officials, said Kochis resigned from the organization earlier this summer.

Nick Raymond, president-elect of the Eastern Maine Board of Approved Basketball Officials, said Kochis is an “inactive official on our board.”

Tyson McHatten, UMaine’s senior associate director of athletics, said Kochis will not be a statistician at UMaine games this year after working at men’s ice hockey and football games for many years.

Kochis faces two counts of possession of sexually explicit material. The first one — related to an image of a child under 12 — is a Class C crime, which is a felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

The other charge is for a Class D crime, related to an image of children between ages 12 and 16, and carries a penalty of up to a year of incarceration and a fine of up to $2,000.

BDN sports reporter Larry Mahoney contributed to this story.

 

Correction: This story was corrected to reflect that Kochis did not work high school basketball games as a member of the IAABO last winter.


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