BELFAST — A Belfast home was raided by Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit Jan. 25, following an investigation into child pornography being shared on a social media platform.
Gregory R. LaFortune, 44, was arrested Friday, Jan.25, charged with possession of sexually explicit material, according to Detective Glenn Lang, of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit. The sexually explicit images are alleged to contain children under the age of 12.
Maine’s statute governing Possession of sexually explicit material.
At least one electronic device was confiscated from the residence during the raid.
LaFortune came to the attention of Maine State Police following a report from a social media image sharing site, which filed a complaint with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in September.
The site’s own monitoring system discovered child pornography was being sent and received, according to Lang.
The case was assigned to Lang at the start of January, with his investigation eventually narrowing down the location of where the images were being shared to one address in Belfast, where LaFortune resides.
Lang said that it does not appear that the explicit pictures were created in the area, saying they were images that had been “around for a while.”
The investigation remains ongoing. Lafortune’s employment has been with an agency with offices in Maine locations, including Bangor and Belfast. The group provides in-home services to children and adults with developmental and/or behavioral issues.
LaFortune, who is reportedly in a supervisory position with the agency, had direct access to children prior to his Friday arrest, according to Lang.
The office declined to comment on LaFortune’s current employment status.
Lang said that LaFortune’s employment with the agency and direct access to children were one factor used to decide whether to arrest suspects in cases like this. If someone has direct access to children, Lang said generally they are arrested with a low bail request but bail stipulations that prohibit any contact with children under age 18.
“We don’t ask for a big bail because they’re not really a flight risk, but we do put bail conditions to have no contact with children,” Lang said.
LaFortune, who has reportedly made bail, is subject to that bail condition, which prohibits contact with any child under age 16, according to the court filing.
Lang said the agency has been cooperative with the investigation, with its first goal being to protect patients and children in its care.
Though Lang said State Police don’t have any reason to believe anything happened with the children with whom LaFortune had contact through his job, they will still investigate the issue. Lang said the investigation will be ongoing for some time, “as we work to try to find out what children should be interviewed, could be interviewed…. It’s going to take a while to work through all of that,” he said.
Any parents who had contact with LaFortune and suspect something may have happened to their child are encouraged to call the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit at 207-877-8080. Lang said follow-up interviews will be conducted by himself and possibly Belfast Police, who were also involved in the raid Friday.
Erica Thoms can be reached at email@example.com