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Former Gubernatorial Candidate Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography

Eliot Cutler, a former gubernatorial candidate for Maine, has pleaded guilty to possession of images of child sex abuse.

Cutler nearly became governor of Maine in 2010 but lost to Republican Paul LePage.

According to reports, Cutler is also a wealthy attorney and spent much time in Democratic Party politics.

“My behavior helped to support an industry built upon their abuse, and I hope with all my heart that they can find healing and dignity,” Cutler said.

Just the News reports:

The plea deal calls for Cutler to serve nine months in jail out of a 4-year sentence plus six years on probation for four counts of possessing sexually explicit material of a child under 12.

The 76-year-old Cutler expressed remorse and made no excuses for his addiction. He said he would devote his remaining years to redemption.

He told the judge that he had neglected opportunities to reach out for help and was “embarrassed, ashamed, and deeply, deeply sorry” for his actions. “I failed to meet my obligations to myself, to my family, to my friends and to civilized society,” he added.

The investigation into Cutler began with a tip in December of 2021, according to the AP. The tip came from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which informed Maine State Police that someone in Maine had either downloaded or uploaded a single illegal image.

According to, prosecutors said Cutler downloaded over 80,000 images of children younger than 12 in often violent and unusual sexual acts.

More details on the plea agreement from

Cutler was released weeks after his arrest and has remained free on $50,000 bail since then. In May 2022, a judge allowed Cutler to resume online activity, with strict monitoring by a third-party company that Cutler agreed to pay for.

Once he completes his sentence, likely in a county jail, he will still face numerous restrictions. His online activity will be monitored. He could be randomly searched at any time.

If at any point Cutler is caught viewing or downloading sexually explicit images of children, he risks additional prison time.

He also will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years and has agreed to pay $5,000 to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which prompted the investigation that led to his charges.

In December 2021, the center received a tip from an employee at Dropbox, a file-hosting system, who found a file uploaded by Cutler that appeared to depict the abuse of a girl between the ages of 4 and 6.

AP noted Cutler’s prior political career:

It marked a remarkable fall for a man who once served as an aide to the late Sen. Edmund Muskie, as the top energy and environmental adviser to then-President Jimmy Carter, and launched a powerful environmental law firm in Washington, D.C.

His attorney, Walter McKee, said all of Cutler’s life achievements will now be nullified in many people’s opinions because of his possession of so many images of children being hurt — a punishment that goes beyond the jail term.


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