WATERBORO — A 41-year-old self employed stone mason police say was in possession of “thousands of images” of child pornography was released from York County Jail Friday ”“ the same day he was arrested ”“ on $1,000 cash bail.

Edward Vallee of 71 Meadowbrook Drive was arrested by officers from the Maine Police Computer Crimes Unit. He faces two counts of possession of sexually explicit material depicting images of children under 12 years old.

Maine Public Safety spokesman Steve McCaus-land said police began investigating Vallee after receiving a tip. An initial review of his computer showed thousands of images of child pornography, McCausland said.

“None of the images appears to be children from Maine, but confirmation will have to await a complete examination of Vallee’s computer,” McCaus-land said in a prepared statement.

Vallee is scheduled to appear at York County Superior Court Sept. 23.

In 2011, the Maine Computer Crimes Unit investigated more than 200 internet crimes against children, according to information on their website. More recent data was not available.

Child pornography is on the rises, according to sources that monitor the subject. In May, 11 people in and around Providence, Rhode Island were arrested on a variety of child porn charges, according to the Providence Journal.

According to a March 9 story by Carol Christian of the Houston Chronicle, John Shehan, director of the Exploited Child Division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said 1.1 million child pornography reports were received nationwide in 2014, up from 223,000 in 2010. Shehan told the Houston Chronicle that in January and February this year, there were 560,000 reports received.

Possession of child pornography depicting images of children under 12 years old is a Class C felony in Maine, for which the maximum prison term, upon conviction, is five years.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]



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