Calais Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

BANGOR, Maine:  A Calais man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bangor today to distribution of child sexual abuse material, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.

According to court records, on September 10, 2021, Samuel Staples, 27, began a chat session with the administrator of a social networking group dedicated to sharing child sexual abuse material and sent the administrator a sexually explicit image of a prepubescent female child. Based on this information, a search warrant was executed at Staples’ residence, and during the search, Staples admitted sending the image. Multiple images and videos of child pornography were also found on his cell phone.

Staples faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Homeland Security Investigations, the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit, and the Calais Police Department investigated the case.

To report an incident involving the possession, distribution, receipt or production of child pornography: “Child pornography” captures the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. These images document victims’ exploitation and abuse, and they suffer re-victimization each time the images are viewed. File a report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at www.cybertipline.com or 1-800-843-5678. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action. If you have an emergency that requires an immediate law enforcement response, call 911 or contact your local police or sheriff’s department.

Project Safe Childhood: This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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