AUGUSTA β€” An Albion man was convicted Wednesday of nine counts of possessing child pornography and will be sentenced to prison at a later date.

A jury of eight women and four men deliberated for more than two hours before finding Asher Gifford, 55, guilty of all charges of possession of sexually explicit materials depicting minors under 12.

The trial at the Capital Judicial Center started Tuesday, and Justice Robert Mullen continued the case for sentencing. Gifford remains free on unsecured bail.

Five of the counts in the indictment say the offenses occurred around May 11, 2016, in Albion; and the others have a date of June 20, 2016, also in Albion. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Gifford, a slim man with dark hair and a graying beard, had pleaded not guilty to all the charges and opted against testifying at his trial.

In closing arguments Wednesday morning, the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Michael Madigan, said five images involved lewd exhibition and four images involved sexual acts.

He showed the jury nine color photos β€” one for each count β€”and told them to consider what the child in the photos was doing, what her position was and what she was wearing.

“These are the images found on Mr. Gifford’s Toshiba computer in Mr. Gifford’s camper,” Madigan said.

Madigan said Gifford should have known the children were under age 12. Madigan also told jurors to compare the sizes of the children depicted to the sizes of the adult bodies.

Defense attorney Scott Hess argued that Gifford made a mistake and unknowingly downloaded the images through a peer-to-peer sharing program while searching images of teen models.

Hess replayed for jurors part of an audio interview of Gifford by Maine State Police Detective David Armstrong.

Armstrong asks Gifford how he came by the photos, and Gifford says he types in “teen model.”

“I try to find models that are 18 and older, but a lot of these will come up,” he said in the audio played.

Hess told jurors, “Mr. Gifford explained he was searching for models because he does pictures, he does artwork.”

Hess also said four of the images were located in the recycle bin, and added, “There’s nothing pornographic in those file names.”

The other five had file names including “model.”

Betty Adams β€” 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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