December 20, 2012

Ex-prosecutor Cameron to make Maine court appearance Jan. 10

By Craig Crosby ccrosby@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

A former state prosecutor convicted on federal child pornography charges is scheduled to appear in a Portland courtroom in January, two months after authorities say he illegally fled Maine.

Authorities said James Cameron, 50, of Rome, cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and remained a fugitive on the lam for nearly three weeks before the U.S. Marshals Service arrested him Dec. 2 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Cameron is set for a bond hearing at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 10 in U.S. District Court in Portland, according to court records filed Wednesday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Clark said the prosecutors will seek to have Cameron’s bail revoked during that hearing.

The court documents say Cameron will make his appearance before U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock, who presided over Cameron’s trial and in March 2011 sentenced Cameron to 16 years in prison after he was convicted of several child pornography charges.

Cameron appealed those convictions, and the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ordered Cameron be freed in August 2011 while he awaited a decision on the appeal. Woodcock set the conditions of Cameron’s release, which included the electronic monitoring.

Cameron will be represented at the January hearing by attorney David Beneman, who said Wednesday that federal laws prevent him from discussing a pending case. Beneman wouldn’t say where Cameron is being held, when he will be in Maine or what will occur during the Jan. 10 hearing.

“I can’t discuss any aspect of it,” Beneman said.

Clark would not say whether Cameron will face additional charges because of his flight from authorities. Clark said he had no information on Cameron’s current location but said he would be in the area in time for the January court hearing.

“We expect that will be a personal appearance,” Clark said.

According to court documents, Cameron, formerly of Hallowell and most recently of Rome, cut off his monitoring bracelet and fled his Rome home on Nov. 15, hours after the court of appeals upheld seven of 13 convictions against him. He was arrested Dec. 2. \

Two days after his arrest in New Mexico, a U.S. District Court judge there ordered Cameron back to Maine after he waived his right to an identity hearing and any preliminary or detention hearing and requested those hearings be held in Maine.

Cameron was the chief drug crimes prosecutor in the Maine Office of the Attorney General, where he spent 18 years as an assistant attorney general.

He became the target of an investigation after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported Yahoo! had found multiple images of child pornography in an email account belonging to his wife.

He was fired in April 2008 and indicted on the child pornography charges Feb. 11, 2009.

Cameron’s 26-year marriage ended in a divorce that was finalized a year after he was indicted. Barbara Cameron was awarded primary care of the couple’s two children — ages 17 and 15 at the time of the agreement — though the court ordered shared rights and responsibilities that allowed Cameron “liberal and frequent visitation with the children.”

Barbara Cameron got ownership of the couple’s Hallowell home and Cameron got the right to live at a home at Echo Valley Estates in Rome.

Cameron was convicted of 13 charges on Aug. 23, 2010, after a six-day nonjury trial in federal court in Portland.

Under Cameron’s conditions of release, he was ordered to submit to active GPS monitoring, register with “all pertinent sex offender registries,” report in person to a probation officer, post an unsecured $75,000 bond, adhere to a curfew as set by a supervising officer and participate in Internet monitoring that he had to pay for.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642
ccrosby@mainetoday.com

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