Ex-Maine gov candidate out of jail after child porn arrest

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A former gubernatorial candidate in Maine was bailed out of jail on Saturday after his arrest on charges of possession of child pornography.

Officials with the Hancock County Jail said Eliot Cutler made bail in the afternoon after a day in custody. He had been held on $50,000 bail.

The Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit arrested Cutler without incident on Friday at a home he and his wife share in Brooklin, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) from Portland. The 75-year-old twice ran for governor as an independent, using his personal wealth to pay for the two unsuccessful campaigns.

Cutler's attorney, Walt McKee, declined to comment to The Associated Press on Saturday.

Warrants were executed on two of Cutler's homes earlier in the week. The counts correspond with crimes authorities said Cutler committed from December through March.

However, materials were still being reviewed, and Hancock County District Attorney Matthew Foster has said it “wouldn't surprise me if more charges were on the way.”

Authorities said the investigation into Cutler began with a tip in December. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children informed Maine State Police that someone in Maine had either downloaded or uploaded a single illegal image.

Cutler now faces four counts of possession of sexually explicit material of a child under 12, prosecutors have said. Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Officials with the jail said they had no information about when Cutler could appear in court.

Cutler is a native of Bangor who has been involved in politics for decades, including a stint working under President Jimmy Carter. He ran for governor of Maine as an independent candidate in 2010 and narrowly lost a multi-candidate race to Republican Paul LePage. LePage would go on to serve two terms as governor and is running again this year.

Cutler's second bid for governor came in 2014, when he came in a distant third.