November 19, 2012

Ex-Maine prosecutor now a fugitive from justice

James Cameron, convicted on child porn charges, cut off his electronic monitor and disappeared Wednesday, and is being hunted by the U.S. Marshals Service.

By CRAIG CROSBY and MICHAEL SHEPHERD Kennebec Journal

(Continued from page 1)

Cameron

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Marshals seek tips

Authorities asked that anyone with information about Cameron’s whereabouts to contact the nearest U.S.  Marshals Office in Portland at 780-3355 or call the U.S. Marshals Service Headquarters at 1-877-WANTED2.

He was fired from the Attorney General's Office in April 2008 and indicted on child pornography charges on Feb. 11, 2009.

On Aug. 23, 2010, after a six-day, non-jury trial in federal court in Portland, Cameron was convicted of 13 offenses committed in 2006 and 2007.

Woodcock, who presided over the trial, sentenced Cameron to 16 years in prison on March 11, 2011.

Five months later, with the convictions under appeal, the 1st Circuit Court ruled that Cameron could be free on bail while his appeal was pending.

In its ruling, the court suggested that a change in law generated "exceptional reasons why (Cameron's) detention would not be appropriate."

Under the conditions of his release, Cameron was ordered to submit to GPS monitoring, register with "all pertinent sex offender registries," report to a probation officer, post an unsecured $75,000 bond, adhere to a curfew set by a supervising officer, and participate in Internet monitoring.

Michael A. Cunniff, Cameron's attorney during the trial, said Monday that he could not comment on his former client's disappearance.

Part of Cameron's appeal focused on the admissibility of evidence.

In an opinion released Wednesday by Circuit Judge Juan Torruella, the three-judge appeals panel ruled that the indictment was sufficient, the trial venue in Maine was proper and Yahoo!'s searches of Cameron's accounts for child pornography did not violate the Fourth Amendment, so a suppression motion was properly denied.

The appeals court also said it concluded "that the district court did not err in admitting evidence from Yahoo! or the Google Hello Connection Logs."

However, the court said, Cameron should have had an opportunity to cross-examine Yahoo! employees who prepared the child pornography reports. It said that allowing the reports to be admitted "violated Cameron's rights under the confrontation clause" and in turn tainted the CyberTipline Reports.

The case was sent back to U.S. District Court in Maine for resentencing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Clark said no decision had been made about whether to pursue a new trial.

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Craig Crosby can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:

ccrosby@mainetoday.com

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 621-5632 or at:

mshepherd@mainetoday.com

 

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