A former Portland teacher has pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography.

Travis McCutcheon, 54, appeared in federal court in Portland on Wednesday to enter the new plea. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and at least five years of probation, according to a plea agreement he signed in April, though a judge could still hand down a longer sentence. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss three other child pornography distribution charges.

McCutcheon will be sentenced at a later date. He is waiving his right to appeal his conviction and any sentence under 50 months. He will also be subject to computer monitoring while on probation and barred from substance use.

McCutcheon worked in Maine schools for 30 years, according to records from the state Public Employment Retirement Center. Before his arrest, he worked in Portland’s Breathe program with students who have behavioral and emotional health needs at Lyman Moore Middle School. He has also worked at Lyseth Elementary School, as well as schools in Westbrook, Raymond, Lisbon, Glenburn and Auburn.

His last day at Lyman was Feb. 2, 2023, the same day that police searched his home and questioned him about a tip officers received from the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children. The center said a Google Drive account associated with McCutcheon’s email address was storing two videos depicting young boys engaged in sexual conduct.

McCutcheon at first denied ever seeing the videos or searching for them, even after police showed him a still image from one of the clips. He suggested he had been hacked.


But on Wednesday, McCutcheon admitted to knowingly possessing the videos.

Had the case gone to trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Heimbach said in court records he would’ve proven that McCutcheon knowingly possessed child pornography on his computer in November 2022. Heimbach said they would have called on various investigators and used records from McCutcheon’s internet service provider and bank.

Prosecutors had said previously that while McCutcheon was on paid administrative leave from his job in Portland, he appeared to be drunk when he visited the home of a student with special needs and gave him $2,000.

Judge Nancy Torresen agreed to let McCutcheon remain on supervised release until sentencing because he is his 82-year-old father’s primary caretaker.

“But I want to warn him,” Torresen said, “if there are further lapses, or violations, they won’t be tolerated. … I want to stress for you how important this time is, between now and your sentencing.”

“I understand, your honor,” McCutcheon said.

McCutcheon’s attorney, Grainne Dunne, said in court Wednesday her client has been subject to “stringent conditions,” including working and using a breathalyzer five times a day. He’s had a few violations, she said, all technical and minor (such as sleeping through a scheduled breathalyzer test.)

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