April 04, 2020
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Waterville man to serve nearly 7 years for possessing child porn

Natalie Williams | BDN
Natalie Williams | BDN
Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building in Bangor, Maine on Oct. 29. 2019.

If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.

A Waterville man was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to six years and eight months in prison for possessing child pornography that depicted prepubescent girls.

William I. Stewart, 64, of Waterville pleaded guilty to the charge in April. He has been held without bail since then.

In addition to prison time, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock sentenced Stewart to 10 years of supervised release. The judge also ordered Stewart to pay $63,000 in restitution for counseling for the victims depicted in the various videos he admitted viewing.

A request for comment from Stewart’s attorney, Walter McKee of Augusta, was not immediately returned.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Ruge, who prosecuted the case, declined to comment, as is the practice of the U.S. attorney’s office.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Stewart faced between 11 years and three months and 14 years in prison. The U.S. attorney’s office recommended a sentence toward the high end of the guideline range.

Stewart’s guideline range was increased after the Maine State Police received reports that he had allegedly sexually abused at least three women decades ago when they were about 12 years old, according to court documents. Stewart, who has no criminal history, denied the conduct.

It is highly unlikely that criminal charges will be filed against Stewart while he is in federal prison, but Woodcock determined Thursday that the allegations showed “a pattern of abuse” in sentencing the Waterville man on the possession of child pornography charge.

Last year, Stewart agreed to forfeit seven hard drives, a desktop computer, a laptop computer and a thumb drive on which the child pornography was found on June 28, 2018. Several thousand images and several hundred videos of child pornography were found on Stewart’s devices, according to court documents.

 


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