AUGUSTA — A Norridgewock man was arrested Wednesday after sexually assaulting two children and distributing the assaults on the Internet, according to Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.
Patrik Ian Arsenault, 27, was arrested at his home and charged with two counts of Class A gross sexual assault. Maine State Police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations made the arrest.
On Friday, Arsenault appeared in Augusta District Court, where Judge Beth Dobson set bail at $200,000 surety or $100,000 cash. He is being held in Kennebec County Jail in Augusta.
Arsenault also faces federal charges of sexual exploitation for videotaping the alleged assaults on the two boys, ages 6 and 7. If convicted of the charge, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.
Each gross sexual assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in state prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
On Wednesday, State Trooper Chris Tupper and Special Agent Anthony Castellanos arrived at Arsenault’s Norridgewock residence to serve a search warrant related to possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography, according to a police affidavit.
During a conversation outside of the residence, Arsenault admitted to trading child pornography through email for approximately a year, according to the affidavit.
He later admitted to molesting the two children, the affidavit also stated, and some of the alleged assaults were recorded on video, photographed and transmitted over the Internet.
An external hard drive was recovered from his residence that contained two videos of sexual assaults on the children. A tattoo on the inside of the left wrist of the male in the video was consistent with Arsenault’s tattoo.
The incidents allegedly occurred in Belgrade between June 15 and July 30.
The two boys, who are the children of someone Arsenault knows, have mental disabilities, according to Maloney.
“It’s really upsetting that he not only created the child pornography, but also distributed it on the Web,” said Maloney. “It hurts the victims every time it’s viewed by another person.”
Maloney said the case is similar to that of Wade Hoover, the Augusta man who pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in February for production of child pornography. He was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison in July.
Hoover, 35, awaits trial dates in both Somerset and Kennebec counties for multiple charges of gross sexual assault against two children.
“Child sexual assault cases are the most upsetting we have,” said Maloney. “You don’t want to believe that things like this happen in the world, but you need to do everything you can to stop it.”
The next court date for Arsenault has not yet been scheduled.