AUGUSTA — An Augusta man convicted by a jury in March of possessing child pornography was ordered to serve an initial six months behind bars Wednesday.

Randy Marquis, 43, was found guilty of three counts of possessing sexually explicit materials depicting children under 12 — specifically, two images and one video — on his computer in Jan. 16, 2015, at his Northern Avenue home.

Marquis, who suffers from diabetes and recently lost two toes to diabetic neuropathy, came to court with a foot bandaged and leaning on crutches. The remainder of the three-year sentence was suspended while he serves two years of probation.

He also was ordered to register as a 25-year registrant under the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

The sentence was imposed during a hearing at the Capital Judicial Center after Justice Harold Stewart denied a defense motion for acquittal and for a new trial. Conditions of probation prohibit Marquis from contact with children under 15 except nieces and nephews in his immediate family with supervision by parents. They also ban him from viewing or possessing sexually explicit materials and from accessing the internet.

Marquis was arrested Jan. 16, 2015, at his home and indicted the following May.

Marquis has been free on bail and was ordered to report by 6 p.m. Wednesday to the Kennebec County jail.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Frayla Tarpinian, had sought a prison sentence for Marquis, requested a three-year term, with all but nine months and one day suspended, and two years of probation. In her sentencing memorandum, she wrote that “ultimately a search of the computer revealed that the defendant had 58 files depicting children estimated to be between the ages of 2 and 12, and 157 files depicting children in sexually suggestive poses.”

She said the images were of both boys and girls.

Marquis was ordered to forfeit the computer that held the images.

Marquis did not testify at his trial and did not speak at the sentencing hearing.

The two witnesses who testified at the trial were Dawn Ego, a forensic analyst with the Maine Computer Crimes Unit, and Maine State Police Detective Justin Kittredge.

In her closing argument at trial, Tarpinian said Marquis, under the user name “BIG DADDY,” used a peer-to-peer file sharing program and deliberately searched for such terms as “family sex” and “moms and sons having sex” and downloaded those images.

“They were selected and moved from the internet to his computer,” she said.

Marquis’ attorney, Scott Hess, had recommended a 30-month sentence for Marquis, saying in a sentencing memo that Marquis’ conduct was “significantly less egregious than other ways in which this crime could be committed.” He suggested suspending all but 30 to 60 days of the term, with two years of probation.

At trial, Hess asked jurors to look beyond the “difficult images,” which he said Marquis was unaware he had downloaded.

“When the detective ran the search program and these things popped up, he was surprised,” Hess said. “He was genuinely surprised.”

The judge noted at Wednesday’s hearing that Marquis had no prior criminal record, that he had strong family support — three people came to court with Marquis — and that Marquis had no problems during the two years he was free on bail while the charges were pending.

However, Stewart told Marquis, “You have not taken responsibility for these offenses.”

He also told Marquis that the victims were children either forced or coerced into the sexually explicit conduct.

“It’s your participation, just like anyone else who receives them, that helps to perpetuate this criminality,” Stewart said.

Hess said he’s likely to file an appeal.

“Throughout this proceeding, Mr. Marquis has maintained he was not searching for child pornography on the internet,” he said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

 

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