AUGUSTA — A former Sidney man will spend the next seven months in jail for possessing hundreds of images of child pornography.

Robert L. Stagge, 58, now of Sparks, Md., was sentenced Thursday in Kennebec County Superior Court to three years in jail with all but seven months suspended and two years’ probation.

He had pleaded guilty on Oct. 6 in the same court to two counts of possession of sexually explicit materials depicting children under age 12. Stagge requested a stay of execution at the time so he could wind up business in Maryland. Justice Michaela Murphy refused and set the sentencing hearing for Thursday.

On Oct. 6, Assistant District Attorney Frayla Schoenfeld said Maine State Police executed a search warrant at Stagge’s home on May 7, 2013, and found evidence he had 830 images of children ages 5-12 engaged in sexual activity, and 700 of the images downloaded were of girls.

At that time, according to court filings by Assistant Attorney General Kate M. Lawrence, “Stagge admitted to downloading child pornography and said that he ‘had a problem with it since he was 14 years old.'”

Schoenfeld said the child pornography was contained on thumb drives and hard drives.

Stagge’s attorney, Darrick Banda, said none of the child pornography was found on Stagge’s work computers. Stagge had worked for the State of Maine for more than 25 years until July 19, 2013. When he left, he was an information systems support specialist.

Stagge said nothing in court except to enter the pleas and to indicate they were made voluntarily.

Conditions of probation prohibit Stagge from contact with children under 16 and require him to undergo sex offender treatment and counseling. Stagge was also ordered to register as a 10-year registrant under the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

He is also prohibited from use or possession of devices with Internet connections except computers at work supplied by an employer and subject to search.

In exchange for the two pleas of guilty, a third charge of possession of sexually explicit material and a charge of dissemination of sexually explicit material were dismissed.

Schoenfeld and Banda acknowledged to the judge that the dismissals also reflected the fact that the Internet Protocol address was obtained by a grand jury subpoena rather than other ways specified by courts.

Banda said Stagge had no prior criminal record.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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