A Skowhegan man awaits sentencing after pleading guilty in federal court to a 41-count indictment involving a series of child exploitation offenses on Friday, according to U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank.

Christopher Raiche

Christopher Raiche, 29, was arrested Oct. 18, 2019, after the State Police Computer Unit and Homeland Security, acting on a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, searched his home at 57 Hilltop Drive in Skowhegan. At the time of his arrest, Raiche was charged with a single count of possessing sexually explicit material.

On Friday, Raiche faced 41 charges that spanned from January 2018 to October 2019. Court records show that Raiche produced sexually explicit photographs of multiple children under the age of 9.

Rache also possessed child pornography on his phone and in an online account. The online account was used by Raiche to solicit and trade child pornography with others on the internet, which included sending links to an online storage account containing part of his collection of child pornographic material.

Raiche was employed at T-Mobile‚Äôs call center in Oakland at the time of his arrest, but also was a babysitter at his and other homes. Several electronic devices were seized from Raiche’s home and investigators were looking into a tip that Raiche may have taken dozens of sexually explicit photos of Maine children.

Stephen C. Smith, representing Raiche, said in an email Monday that his client “understands the wrongfulness of his actions” and will be asking the court to recommend treatment through the Bureau of Prisons.

“Child pornography is a scourge, but the public also needs to understand that in many ways those who engage in it are self-medicating larger issues including depression and other mental health issues,” Smith said. “In some ways it is very much like alcoholism or drug addiction.”

Raiche faces up to 30 years in prison on each of four counts of sexual exploitation of children and up to 20 years in prison on each of the remaining 37 counts alleging receipt, transportation, possession, solicitation and advertising of child pornography. Each count also comes with a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing will take place after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

Originally held in lieu of $50,000 bail, Raiche made his first court appearance in Skowhegan on Oct. 21, 2019. The judge increased his bail to $250,000.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit and was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.