Norridgewock Man Sentenced to 65 Years for Child Exploitation and Pornography
Patrik Arsenault, 28, was sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. to 65 years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release for sexual exploitation of a minor and transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced. Arsenault pleaded guilty on July 8, 2014.
According to court records, in June and July of 2013, the defendant, a former special education teacher, sexually abused three minors and recorded images and videos the abuse. The defendant then sent recordings of the abuse, as well as other images of child pornography, to several e-mail trading partners. The defendant also received images of child pornography from his trading partners. On Aug. 21, 2013, agents seized a hard drive during the execution of a search warrant at the defendant’s residence. A forensic examination revealed videos and images of the defendant’s abuse of the minors and over 7,500 images and 250 videos depicting child pornography.
“Despicable crimes like this rob our children of their innocence,” said Special Agent in Charge Bruce Foucart of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston. “We entrust teachers to serve as role models for our children and safeguard their welfare. As this sentence makes clear, when that trust is violated, there will be severe consequences. This case should also serve as a stern warning to those who mistakenly believe cyberspace affords them anonymity on the Internet to sexually exploit children with impunity.”
“It was his hard work and diligence in identifying the defendant after his activity had been discovered that brought him to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Delahanty on the work of HSI Special Agent Anthony Castellanos. “These cases are very difficult because of the subject matter, but also because of the necessity to link the defendant to the disturbing images and on-line conduct. Special Agent Castellanos’s continued persistence has limited the exposure of the minors to further exploitation. People who engage in this conduct should expect to receive very lengthy sentences.”
The investigation was conducted jointly by HSI, the Maine State Police and the Computer Crimes Unit of the Maine State Police. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’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.projectsafechildhood.gov.