A federal judge on Thursday agreed to postpone a Feb. 5 court date so the state’s former top drug prosecutor can plead guilty to fleeing Maine after learning most of his convictions on child pornography charges had been upheld.
James Cameron, 50, of Rome, now is scheduled to be in court Feb. 19 to address a criminal contempt charge. He is expected to plead guilty to that charge, according to court documents filed by his defense attorney, David Beneman.
Reached by phone Thursday, Beneman declined to comment, saying he could not talk about a pending federal case.
Chief U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr., who imposed Cameron’s original sentence on the child pornography convictions, filed the order agreeing to the court delay on Thursday. Cameron, who is being held in New Hampshire while the contempt charge is pending, was sentenced in March 2011 to 16 years in prison after being convicted of 13 charges of possessing and transmitting child pornography.
Cameron served about a year of jail time before being released on conditions, pending his appeal.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in a decision issued Nov. 14, 2012, reversed convictions on six counts and sent the case back for resentencing on the remaining seven counts, or a new trial.
Living at Echo Valley Estates in Rome, Cameron on Nov. 15 cut his electronic monitoring bracelet and fled the state, authorities said. He was arrested 17 days later, on Dec. 2, by U.S. marshals in Albuquerque, N.M.
The contempt charge is in connection with Cameron violating his bail conditions by breaking his curfew and going on the lam.
The prosecutor’s office has opted for resentencing on the remaining charges against Cameron instead of seeking a new trial.
Woodcock said in Thursday’s order that Cameron’s resentencing would be scheduled once the contempt charge was resolved. The contempt charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison, running consecutive to the underlying offense.
Six of Cameron’s child pornography convictions for transportation and receipt of child pornography carry minimum prison terms of five years and maximum terms of 20 years. The conviction for possession of child pornography carries a maximum term of 10 years, but no minimum.
In the underlying case, Cameron became the target of an investigation after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported Yahoo had found multiple images of child pornography in a Yahoo account. According to the court documents, a search warrant executed on Dec. 21, 2007, found child pornography images on a computer in his home.
He was fired from the Office of the Maine Attorney General in April 2008 after 18 years as an assistant attorney general. He was indicted on the child pornography charges on Feb. 11, 2009.
Betty Adams — 621-5631