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Press Release

Westbrook Man Sentenced to 12 ½ Years for Possessing Child Sexual Abuse Material

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine
Michael Peterson used Telegram app to download and request images

BANGOR, Maine:  A Westbrook man was sentenced on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor for possessing child pornography.

Chief U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker sentenced Michael Peterson, 39, to 150 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release.

According to court records, between December 2021 and August 2022, Peterson received and attempted to receive child sexual abuse material using the Telegram application. Peterson received the images from an individual using Telegram and paid the same individual in hopes of obtaining additional images.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Maine State Police investigated the case.

To report an incident involving the possession, distribution, receipt or production of child pornography: Child sexual abuse material – referred to in legal terms as "child pornography" – captures the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. These images document victims’ exploitation and abuse, and they suffer revictimization every time the images are viewed. In 2023, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children received 36 million reports of the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child sexual abuse materials. To file a report with NCMEC, go to or call 1-800-843-5678. If you are in Maine and you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or abused, you can get help by calling the free, private 24-hour statewide sexual assault helpline at 1-800-871-7741.


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, visit



Chris Ruge, Assistant United States Attorney (207-780-3257)

Updated June 12, 2024

Project Safe Childhood