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In a recent child exploitation case from Boston, a Maine man was found guilty by the federal court and sentenced to 13 years in prison and five years of supervised release.
Patrick Plummer, of Parsons Field, Maine, was arrested in September 2020 and, in September 2022, pleaded guilty to three charges related to child exploitation:
At the time of his arrest, he was actively attempting to entice 10 underage girls to engage in sexually explicit conduct online.
The protection of our children is the most basic responsibility of society and every parent within it. The prevalence of targeting & exploiting children online is, unfortunately, a reality that more parents in Maine and across the country are having to deal with.
Over 7,000 illicit images and 70 videos were discovered on Patrick Plummer’s seized electrical devices, including some of two-year-old children being sexualized and tortured.
Plummer travelled from Maine to Georgetown Massachusetts to have sex with a 13-year-old girl, who was an undercover detective posing as this girl and who then arrested and charged the man.
The sentence handed down to Plummer reflects how seriously these types of issues are treated by law enforcement and the justice system here.
This case was part of the wider Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative started in 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.
According to Maine State Legislature Chapter 27 Section 259-A, the solicitation of a child to commit a prohibited act is a criminal offence:
Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; or [ 2011, c. 597, §3 (NEW).]
Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime. [ 2011, c. 597, §3 (NEW).]
Under this legislation, a “prohibited act” means:
Patrick Plummer’s actions constituted the sexual exploitation of a minor, as well as other offences, which is why he received a long prison sentence.
Another of Plummer’s offences was transporting child pornography. Plummer was found with a huge cache of pornography, some involving children as young as two years old. This is illegal in every state, not just in Maine.
It is illegal to produce, distribute, or possess any form of child pornography in Maine. Child pornography is classified as any depiction of a person under the age of 18 years old engaging in sexually explicit conduct
“Sexually explicit conduct” is defined as:
In Maine, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (Production of Child Pornography) is a class B crime but:
Under Maine law Dissemination of Sexually Explicit Material (Distribution of Child Pornography) is a class C crime but:
In Maine, the Possession of Sexually Explicit Material (Possession of Child Pornography) is a class D crime but:
Under Maine law, if a weapon is involved in the commission of a crime, the charges will be one class higher than average.
A conviction for a sex crime in Maine also comes with mandatory registration as a sex offender with the Maine Sex Offender Registry. This is normally for 10 years but, for violent offences, lifetime registration as a sex offender is required.
If Patrick Plummer had not been duped by a detective and been able to carry out his intended meeting with a 13-year-old girl in Georgetown, Massachusetts, it may have led to a charge of statutory rape (gross sexual assault).
The age of consent is 16 but adults who engage in sexual activity with children aged 15 or younger can be charged with statutory rape. Even if the child consents to or initiates the sexual activity, a statutory rape charge can be filed against the adult as no child under the age of 15 is deemed capable of giving informed consent for sexual activity.
Statutory rape or gross sexual assault against a child under the age of 14 is a Class A crime in Maine. Otherwise, it is a Class C crime (see above for associated penalties).
Patrick Plummer tried to lure children under the age of 14 to engage in sexual conduct but failed on the occasion that he was caught and tried for. There is no guarantee that he didn’t succeed in the past. Hence, he was charged with attempted child enticement (among other charges) and will spend a very long time in prison even though no sexual contact occurred.
If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with
one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys
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