SKOWHEGAN — A Skowhegan man is charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl and sharing images of his illegal activity on a social media site.

Adam Cates, 27, was arrested Friday morning following an investigation by Skowhegan police in cooperation the State Police Computer Crimes Unit and the federal Department of Homeland Security, according to a news release from Skowhegan police.

Cates is charged with sexual abuse of a minor, a class C felony; sexual exploitation of a minor, a class B felony; and possession of sexually explicit material, a misdemeanor. The felony charges could land him in jail for more than 10 years.

State, local and federal authorities carried out a search warrant Friday morning at an apartment at 43 Silver St. after they got a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that child exploitation images were being posted on Facebook. The information indicated that the images and the criminal activity originated in Skowhegan.

Skowhegan police traced the Internet Protocol address to the Silver Street apartment and got a search warrant. During the ensuing investigation, police learned that Cates allegedly was sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in Skowhegan. Investigators found images of sexually explicit material allegedly involving the girl, according to police.

Detective Sgt. Josh King of the Skowhegan Police Department said the case is a serious example of the exploitation of children.

“We’re certainly concerned that this type of activity takes place,” King said by phone Friday afternoon. “And we certainly have to rely on our federal and state partners for some of the technical expertise on this. We were able to come together and bring the case to a close and we’re very happy about that. This is certainly one of the more serious cases we’ve come across recently.”

Skowhegan police Detective Katelyn Nichols is the primary investigator on the case.

Police Chief Don Bolduc said more details on the case may be coming soon.

“This is a very serious and sensitive case and still an ongoing investigation with the cooperation of Adam Cates,” Bolduc said. “I am very impressed with the work of Detective Nichols and Detective Sgt. King, as well as the assistance from the other agencies involved and their personnel.”

Cates is being held without bail at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison pending his initial appearance, possibly next week.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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Twitter:@Doug_Harlow