A Portland lawyer who lives in Falmouth has been sentenced to 90 days in jail as part of a plea agreement on a felony child pornography charge.

Lawrence Winger, 64, was taken into custody immediately Wednesday in the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland after pleading guilty to possession of sexually explicit images of children younger than 12.

Justice Roland Cole sentenced Winger to a total of five years in prison, but suspended most of the term. Winger will begin serving four years of probation after his release from jail and will avoid serving the longer prison term if he complies with the conditions of his release, according to court records.

Winger turned himself in to police on Aug. 27, days after investigators from the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit searched his home at 12 Bay Shore Drive in Falmouth and his law office on Pearl Street in Portland.

Police who seized Winger’s laptop computer and two external hard drives found dozens of images and videos of prepubescent children engaged in sexual activity, police said last year. None of the images appeared to be of Maine victims, authorities said.

Assistant District Attorney Hannah May, who prosecuted the case, declined to speak with a reporter at the courthouse Thursday. Winger’s attorney, Neale Duffett, did not return a phone message seeking comment.


Winger, who is married and has two grown children, was a respected attorney in the field of labor and employment law who sometimes presented seminars on the subject. His license to practice law in Maine could be suspended because of the conviction.

“That is something we are aware of,” Jacqueline Rogers, executive director of the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar, said of Winger’s conviction.

Rogers said the court has 30 days after Winger’s conviction to formally notify her office.

Winger graduated magna cum laude from Yale with a degree in economics in 1972, and cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1975, according to a profile accompanying a blog he wrote about employment law. He also wrote the “Maine Employer’s Handbook.”

Winger has represented clients in several high-profile cases. He was the attorney for Jordan’s Meats after it was sued by an employee, a refugee from Afghanistan, who said he regularly suffered religious and racial harassment at the Portland company. A federal jury ruled in 2005 that the employee’s rights were violated but he was not entitled to monetary damages, a decision later upheld by an appeals court.

Winger also defended the city of Westbrook against discrimination claims by a female firefighter. Her claims were upheld by the Maine Human Rights Commission.

He represented Hannaford Bros. Co. when an Oakland man sued the grocery chain for refusing to sell him alcohol. Store employees said the man’s speech was slurred and his gait was rambling. That was a result of a car crash 10 years earlier. A federal court ruled in the man’s favor, and the company changed its alcohol sales policy.

As probation conditions, Winger was ordered not to have contact with children younger than 18, not to possess any sexually explicit material, not to use or possess a computer or electronic device able to access the Internet, and to register as a sex offender for five years.

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