A prosecutor said Tuesday that a wealthy former candidate for governor of Maine who was charged with having pictures of sexual abuse of children in his possession reached a deal with prosecutors in which he will spend some time in jail.
A court clerk said that the hearing for Eliot Cutler, who has already said he is not guilty, will be on May 4 in Superior Court.
Hancock County District Attorney Robert Granger wouldn’t say more, but he did say that Cutler “will have some kind of jail time” and be on probation. Walter McKee, Cutler’s lawyer, would not say anything about the agreement.
Who is Cutler, Actually?
Cutler, who is 76 years old, was arrested at his waterfront home in Brooklin, a coastal town 130 miles (210 kilometers) from Portland. He is still free on bail.
Under the deal, Cutler is supposed to give up his right to be indicted and plead guilty or no contest to each of the four counts of having sexually explicit material of a child under 12 in his possession. For each count, the maximum prison sentence is five years.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Eliot Cutler plans to change his plea to charges of possessing images depicting child sexual abuse. Cutler is a former candidate for Maine governor.https://t.co/cQJq9Vhi5R
— Portland Press Herald (@PressHerald) April 11, 2023
Cutler, who was a lawyer, ran for governor twice as an independent and paid for both campaigns with his own money. In 2010, when there were many candidates, he lost to Paul LePage by less than 2 percentage points. In 2014, he lost again.
Years ago, Cutler worked as an assistant to the late Democratic U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine. Later, he was the former Democratic President Jimmy Carter’s top advisor on environmental and energy issues. Cutler became an environmental lawyer and helped start a law firm in Washington.
After a long career in Washington, the man from Bangor moved back to Maine and lived in Cape Elizabeth, where he owned a mansion that he later sold to a nephew of former President George H.W. Bush for $7.55 million.
A tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children started a two-month investigation that led to his fall from grace. That led to search warrants for his homes in Brooklin and another one in Portland, which he later sold.
An affidavit from law enforcement said that Cutler told his wife in front of investigators that the search warrant was for images of sexual abuse of children and that investigators “would probably find some on one of his computers.”
Even though the affidavit said he had thousands of videos of children being sexually abused, Cutler was able to convince a judge to let him back online with some rules.
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