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A former teacher who lives in Bucksport and allegedly gave sex toys to a 15-year-old girl is expected to plead guilty Monday in federal court to possession of child pornography.

William Meier, 56, who had taught at an elementary school in Belfast, also is facing a felony charge of sexual exploitation of a minor in Hancock County. With a conviction, the felony exploitation charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Meier, who was arrested last June, remains in jail on $10,000 bail on the exploitation charge, according to his defense attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker of Ellsworth. Meier is scheduled to make an appearance on that charge in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court on March 15, according to state court documents.

A change of plea video hearing for Meier on the federal child pornography possession charge has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday in federal court in Bangor. Meier pleaded not guilty to the federal charge in November.

Meier faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of not more than $250,000 if convicted on the federal child pornography possession charge.

Defense attorney Matthew Morgan of Augusta, who is representing Meier on the federal charge, declined on Friday to comment on the upcoming plea hearing.

Details about Meier’s work history were not included in court documents, but his LinkedIn profile indicates he started working as a residential counselor at Penobscot Job Corps in Bangor in November 2019. Prior to that, from September 2008 through until the fall of 2019, he worked for RSU 71 in Belfast, including a stint as a third-grade teacher at Capt. Albert Stevens School.

According to court documents filed at the Ellsworth courthouse, Meier came to the attention of police last June after a woman in Waldo County contacted the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department to complain that Meier had given sex toys to her 15-year-old daughter.

Meier had picked the girl up in Stockton Springs and taken her back to his home in Bucksport, ostensibly to help her with her homework, but allegedly made inappropriate and suggestive comments to her, according to state court documents. The girl told Meier she was uncomfortable with the comments and, some time later, he agreed to drive her back to her home in Waldo County. When they got in his car, he allegedly gave her two sex toys and asked her to send him a video of her using them, according to court documents

About a week later, Bucksport police executed a search warrant at Meier’s home and, according to court documents, found images of child pornography that Meier is alleged to have downloaded to his desktop computer, cell phone, and several hard drives.

Meier initially was charged in state court with possessing child pornography, but those charges were dismissed when federal prosecutors determined he had downloaded the images from sources outside Maine and the United States and decided to prosecute him on the same charges in federal court.

A sentencing date for Meier on the federal charge is expected to be set after he changes his plea on Monday.

Bill Trotter

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....