MEXICO — A local man who successfully petitioned the state last fall for removal from the online Maine Sex Offender Registry was arrested Tuesday night and charged with having child pornography on his computer, police said.
Mexico police officer Brad Gallant arrested Larry L. Smart, 66, of 53 Roxbury Road on a charge of possession of sexually explicit material showing a child under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to a Maine State Police arrest warrant.
Smart, who failed to post $500 cash bail, was taken to Oxford County Jail in Paris.
At Smart's appearance Wednesday in Oxford County Superior Court in Paris, Justice Robert Clifford set bail as either personal recognizance with a Maine pretrial contract or $500 without the contract. Clifford also ordered that Smart have no contact with children under the age of 16.
A jail official said Clark was returned to the Paris jail after failing to make bail.
Smart surfaced on the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit's radar on Nov. 23, 2009, when its forensic analyst, Charles Howe IV, signed on to a Web site hosted by the Wyoming Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, according to a state police affidavit sworn by Special Agent Michael J. McFadden III.
The Internet site, which is accessible only to police, is a national clearinghouse for information obtained through child pornography investigations, McFadden said.
Through the Wyoming task force's Web site, Howe discovered that a person logged on to the Internet with a certain Internet Protocol address had shared child pornography on several occasions, including Dec. 6, 2009, McFadden said.
On Jan. 6, Maine Assistant Attorney General Kate Lawrence subpoenaed Internet service provider Time Warner Cable to learn who was using that IP address, McFadden said.
He said Time Warner responded on Jan. 20, telling them it was assigned to Smart on Dec. 6.
McFadden said he then accessed the Wyoming database, collected information assigned to Smart's IP address and found 31 instances of child pornography videos being shared via Smart's IP address.
McFadden contacted Mexico police Sgt. Roy Hodsdon for any information on Smart. Hodsdon told McFadden that Smart was on the sex offender registry until he successfully petitioned the state to be removed, McFadden said.
In Oxford County in 1988, Smart was convicted of gross sexual misconduct, a Class A felony, for a crime that occurred in 1985. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but six years suspended, and given six years of probation, according to the registry.
A registry clerk in Augusta said Wednesday that the registry removed Smart's online information on Oct. 22, 2009, based on a new law enacted by the Legislature in June 2009 and approved by Gov. John Baldacci.
That law, which became effective on Sept. 12, 2009, was sponsored by Sen. Stanley Gerzofsky, D-Brunswick.
Drafted in the face of criticism that the 1999 sex offender registry doubly punished people because it forced them to register long after they had served time for their offenses, the law allows anyone convicted between Jan. 1, 1982, and June 29, 1992, to petition for removal from the online registry.
Eligibility criteria state that the person cannot be a repeat, violent offender, must have been discharged from jail before Sept. 1, 1998, and cannot be convicted of subsequent felonies.
McFadden's affidavit states that on March 11, he went with Sgt. Hodsdon and members of the Computer Crimes Unit to Smart's apartment, where he lives with his two 12-year-old daughters, and seized several computers.
While there, McFadden said they previewed Smart's computer and found several child pornography videos in the computer.