Portland Public Schools employee charged with multiple sex crimes
PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - An employee of Portland Public Schools is charged with several sex crimes in connection with two incidents, according to police.
The investigation began on Oct. 5, when a person went to the police and said a man they were communicating with through a dating platform shared multiple disturbing images.
Police said one of the images appeared to depict a child engaged in a sexual act and the background suggested the location could have possibly been inside a school.
Then, on Oct. 8 at 3:46 p.m., police said officers responded to the Western Promenade after getting reports of a woman screaming for help.
The woman said she was walking on the trails near the Western Promenade when a man exposing himself approached her. Police said she walked away, but the man approached her a second time near Pine Street and pressed himself against her while exposed.
Police said the woman screamed for help and several people came to her assistance.
Officials said witnesses helped them track down the man, who was identified as Benjamin Conroy, 32, of Portland. Conroy was issued a summons on a charge of unlawful sexual contact.
Police said through their investigation that Conroy was a Portland Public Schools employee, and the school department placed Conroy on administrative leave.
Investigators then began looking into whether Conroy was connected and if the picture was taken at a Portland school.
Police said on Wednesday, they arrested Conroy at his home and charged him with sexual exploitation of a minor, dissemination of sexually explicit material and possession of sexually explicit material.
Conroy is being held on $25,000 bail at the York County Jail.
Police said because of the sensitive nature of the investigation no other details could be released.
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