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If you are concerned about a child being neglected or abused, call Maine’s 24-hour hotline at 800-452-1999 or 711 to speak with a child protective specialist. Calls may be made anonymously. For more information, visit maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/cw/reporting_abuse.

A Skowhegan man pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to 41 counts of child sexual exploitation offenses.

Christopher Raiche, 29, pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual exploitation of children and 37 counts alleging receipt, transportation, possession, solicitation and advertising of child pornography, Maine U.S. attorney Halsey B. Frank said on Friday.

He is facing up to 30 years in prison on each of four counts of sexual exploitation and up to 20 years in prison on each of the other 37 counts, as well as fines of up to $250,000 for each count.

Raiche produced sexually explicit photographs of multiple children under the age of 9 between January 2018 and October 2019, according to court records. He also possessed child pornography on his phone and in an online account, using the online account to solicit and trade child pornography with others on the internet. Some of this activity included sending links to a storage account containing part of his collection of child pornographic material, court records said.

Raiche’s attorney, Steve Smith, said that his client understands the wrongfulness of his actions, and “will be asking the court to recommend treatment through the Bureau of Prisons.”

“Child pornography is a scourge, but the public also needs to understand that in many ways those who engage in it are self-medicating larger issues including depression and other mental health issues,” Smith said on Saturday. “In some ways it is very much like alcoholism or drug addiction.”

Raiche will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.