PORTLAND — The state’s former top drug prosecutor pleaded not guilty Tuesday to contempt of court in connection with charges that he fled the state after learning an appeal of some of the child pornography charges he was convicted on was unsuccessful.
James Cameron faces a new trial on the contempt charge. He will be given a new sentence on the child pornography charges that were not overturned on the appeal. He was originally sentenced to 16 years in prison on 13 counts of child pornography.
Chief Judge John A. Woodcock on Tuesday scheduled Cameron’s trial on the contempt charge for Feb. 5 in U.S. District Court in Bangor.
The new charge could add as much as 10 years to Cameron’s sentence.
Cameron, 50, formerly of Hallowell and recently of Rome, appeared in U.S. District Court wearing a tan inmate uniform from New Hampshire’s Strafford County Jail, where he has apparently been held pending his appearance.
He shuffled in wearing a chain between his ankles and in handcuffs, escorted by two deputy U.S. marshals.
Cameron was convicted on transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography in August 2010. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed six of the convictions, saying Cameron did not have an opportunity to confront his accusers — employees of Internet service provider Yahoo!, which provided authorities with some of the evidence.
On Nov. 14, the court upheld the other seven convictions. The next day, Cameron, living at Echo Valley Estates in Rome, cut his electronic monitoring bracelet and fled the state, authorities said. He was arrested by deputy U.S. marshals on Dec. 2 in Albuquerque, N.M.
The charges that were overturned on appeal were sent back for retrial, but the state notified Cameron and his attorney last week that they would not be trying him again on those charges.
“We concluded that ultimately, the sentence would not be materially affected one way or another” if Cameron was convicted on those additional counts, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Clark after the hearing.
Cameron’s court-appointed attorney, David Beneman, would not comment after the hearing.