SKOWHEGAN — A Palmyra man is free on $500 cash bail this week after his arrest Friday and initial appearance in court Monday on two child pornography charges.

Issac D. Bissell, 25, faces two counts of possession of sexually explicit material, both class C felonies, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine on each count.

Bissell allegedly used an Internet file-sharing network to access movies and images depicting children engaging in sexual acts with adults and other children, according to an affidavit for an arrest warrant on Bissell filed in November by Detective Michael Pike, of the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office. All of the children appeared to be 10 years old or younger, according to the court documents.

The affidavit for Bissell’s arrest was presented to the court on behalf of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit. Special Agent Justin Kittredge handled the investigation, with assistance from the unit’s computer forensic technician, Jessica Miller. In all, Miller found 23 allocated movies and 209 allocated images of children either engaging in sexual acts or exposing their genitalia in a lewd manner, according to the court documents.

Bissell, who said he lives with his wife and his father on Marsh Corner Road in Palmyra, was arrested Friday.

The dates of the alleged illegal actions are March 12, 2013, and April 18, 2013, in Palmyra.

Pike wrote in the affidavit that on Nov. 4 he had spoken with Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Russell about the computer crimes investigation involving Bissell.

Pike noted from the investigation that on March 12, 2013, Kittredge was conducting investigations into the sharing of suspicious files related to children on the BitTorrent P2P file sharing network, an Internet-based site that hosts peer-to-peer file sharing. Kittredge was able to identify a computer with a specific internet protocol, or IP, address.

The address was registered at a communications company in southern Maine. Cumberland County District Assistant Attorney Kate Lawrence issued a grand jury subpoena to identify the subscriber of the address, and it came back to Bissell’s father, according to the affidavit.

On April 18, 2013, Kittredge carried out a search warrant of the Bissell home and seized laptop computers, optical discs, an iPod and a desktop computer, according to the court documents. Bissell was read his rights and was interviewed by Kittredge, and he confirmed that he had downloaded and disseminated files of child pornography, typically girls ages 5 to 10, according to the affidavit.

The electronic devices were taken to the computer crimes unit for further examination. Sufficient probable cause was determined for the issuance of a warrant in November.

Neither Pike nor Kittredge could be reached for comment on the case Tuesday.

Bissell did not enter a plea Monday in court before Judge Valerie Stanfill. His release on $500 cash has stipulations that he have no contact with children under 15 and that he stay away from “sex offender zones” such as schools and playgrounds. He also is restricted to using only his wife’s laptop computer for banking and other family business and will be subject to random searches.

Bissell has a scheduled March 1 dispositional conference with a judge, with tentative trial dates set for May. It is not clear if he has hired a lawyer or has applied for a court-appointed attorney.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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