PARIS – A former SAD 72 substitute teacher was indicted Thursday in what Oxford County officials say is the biggest child pornography case they have ever investigated.

Police said they seized five computers from the home of Gilbert Telford, 68, of 53 Tracy Lane in Center Lovell. The Maine Computer Crimes Task Force recovered tens of thousands of pornographic photos and more than 300 digital movies, some with children under 12, said Sgt. Matt Baker of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office.

The material was given to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, based in Alexandria, Va. The center identified several missing children through Telford’s material.

Baker said none of the children in the materials are local.

SAD 72 Superintendent Gary MacDonald offered little comment Thursday except to assure that Telford has had no contact with the schools since his Oct. 23 arrest, and he has been removed from the substitute teaching list.

MacDonald said there was a lot of concern from parents in the district, which covers Fryeburg, Lovell, Denmark, Brownfield, Stoneham, Stow and Sweden. He sent a letter to them after the initial arrest to assure them of the facts.

Telford was arrested Oct. 23 after a complaint from a neighbor gave police probable cause to get a search warrant. After entering his home, officials found child pornography magazines, videos and computer files, Lt. Hart Daley of the Sheriff’s Office said previously.

Telford was bailed on $2,500 from the Oxford County Jail the same week he was arrested, with conditions that he have no contact with children under 18. Baker said deputies make regular checks to ensure that he is abiding by his bail conditions.

“He’s been very cooperative as far as that goes,” Baker said.

Telford’s official charge is one felony count of possession of sexually explicit materials.


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