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Prominent State Political Icon Arrested on Heinous Child Porn Charges; Insultingly Low Bail Set for the Rich Megadonor

  A former two-time candidate for governor of Maine was arrested Friday on child pornography charges. Eliot Cutler, 75, faces four counts of...

 A former two-time candidate for governor of Maine was arrested Friday on child pornography charges.

Eliot Cutler, 75, faces four counts of possession of unlawful sexually explicit materials, according to WCSH-TV.  The charge is a Class C felony, meaning those in the materials were younger than 12 years old, Matthew J. Foster, district attorney for Hancock and Washington counties, said.

Foster said police began their investigation based upon a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children involving a single photo. 

Police last week conducted a search of devices at Cutler’s homes and found at least 10 more files, according to Foster.

Cutler was released on $50,000 bail on Saturday afternoon. 

Cutler formerly owned an oceanfront home that was valued at $11 million when it went on the market in 2017, according to the Portland Press-Herald.

Cutler ran for governor of Maine in 2010 and 2014, both times as an independent. He was viewed by many as a spoiler, having helped throw the vote to Republican candidate Paul LePage, according to WCSH.

In the late 1970s, Cutler worked for the federal Office of Management and Budget during the Jimmy Carter administration. He also worked in the office of former Democratic Sen. Ed Muskie of Maine.

The Maine GOP tweeted that Cutler has given “tens of thousands to Democrat campaigns nationwide,” including to Joe Biden, Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee.

Cutler resigned last week from the board of the Lender Foundation, which seeks to support rural students in attending college, according to Executive Director Don Carpenter. 

“We were deeply disturbed to learn about the serious accusations brought against Eliot Cutler today,” Carpenter said in a statement. “In his former role on the Board of Directors, Eliot was involved in high-level strategy and governance and did not directly interface with students who participated in grant-funded programming.”

Foster told the Bangor Daily News that during a search of his home. Cutler made an admission to his wife. 

“Basically, the conversation was between him and his wife while police were standing right there,” Foster said. “He told her they’re going to find child porn.”

Walter McKee, Cutler’s lawyer, criticized the timing of the arrest.

“I’ve been dealing with the issues created by a completely unnecessary late Friday arrest, after the court has closed, for no good reason,” McKee said in an email.

Cutler’s bail terms included not having an internet-connected device or possessing sexually explicit material, state police spokesperson Shannon Moss said.

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