Former Maine gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler pleads guilty to child pornography charges
ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - Former gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler, 77, pleaded guilty to child pornography charges at the Hancock County Superior Courthouse.
Cutler accepted his plea agreement for four felony counts of possession of thousands of images of child sexual abuse.
The agreement included Cutler sentenced to four years in jail with all but nine months suspended for serving time.
Superior Court Justice Judge Robert Murray accepted the plea agreement and updated one term. Originally it was reported that Cutler will serve six years of probation and register as a sex offender for 10 years after his sentence.
Hancock County DA Robert Granger presented an adjustment for his offender registration to be for the rest of Cutler’s life and that was approved by the court.
The public has been enraged about the proposed serving time for Cutler, however both Cutler’s attorney Walter McKee and Granger came to terms on the plea agreement stating it was appropriate for this case.
“We provided the court with some imperative sentencing information, the likes of which I’ve never seen in a case like this,” said McKee.
“We were able to gather information with the department of corrections, the details of the past ten years, the number of class C convictions by the defendant and we were able to determine that the median sentence for the defendant, convicted of a class C crime like this, was six months to serve. Eliot’s sentence is nine months.”
During the hearing, Cutler requested time on the podium and issued an apology for his behavior.
“I want to apologize to all of the victimized children and to their families,” Cutler said. “My behavior helped to support an industry built upon their abuse and I hope with all of my heart that they can find healing and dignity.”
Granger has been applauded on his handling of this case and said he feels that the end result was fair.
“In all of these types of cases, specifically class C, possession of sexually explicit materials, the mean sentence to serve has been six months over the last ten years,” said Granger. “The egregious nature of the content of the material that Mr. Cutler had prompted an elevation to that sentence.”
Cutler has been ordered to the court to report to Hancock County Jail on June 1.
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