BELFAST — A 32-year-old man was arrested in Texas and brought back to Maine on charges that he sexually abused and exploited “several” children in Waldo County, Maine State Police announced Wednesday.

Steven Mathis of Winterport was being held at the county jail in Belfast on $50,000 cash-only bail. He’s facing charges relating to sexual abuse of a child and sexual exploitation of a child. Additional charges are expected to be filed, state police said in a statement.

Steven Mathis, 32, of Winterport, was apprehended in Texas and returned to Maine on Monday on allegations that he sexually abused and exploited children in Waldo County, Maine State Police said in a statement. Photo courtesy of Maine State Police

Mathis became aware of the police investigation and fled the state, although authorities didn’t indicate when. State police were assisted by the FBI, Texas Rangers and the Hill County, Texas, sheriff’s office in tracking down Mathis in Whitney, Texas, which is south of Fort Worth. He was apprehended Nov. 16 and brought back to Maine on Monday, authorities said.

A spokeswoman for Maine State Police, Shannon Moss, declined to say Wednesday why authorities waited more than a week to announce Mathis’ arrest. She also would not say why Mathis traveled to Texas.

Mathis confessed to sexually abusing children and uploading images of the abuse online so that they could be forwarded to others, police said. The children have been identified and police are investigating the possibility there may be other victims. The abuse occurred from 2019 to this year, authorities said.

An electronic device was seized from Mathis’ home and an examination of the device revealed evidence consistent with details of his confession, police said.

Moss declined to elaborate on just how many children were allegedly abused.

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