LEWISTON – Photographic evidence buried in a backyard will not spare a 55-year-old former Webster Street man from decades in prison.

Maine’s highest court on Tuesday denied an appeal by Raymond Samson seeking to suppress nude and sexual images that were used at his trial where he was convicted of 18 sex-related crimes involving children.

Samson was convicted last year of engaging in oral sex with his victims, fondling their private parts and having them pose nude for pictures or movies.

In his appeal, Samson argued that the court erred in denying his motion to suppress computer images of the victims that were used as evidence against him. He claimed they were obtained through search warrants that did not sufficiently describe the places to be searched.

Lewiston police in April 2005 applied for a search warrant for 299 Webster St. where Samson lived and where many of his crimes were said to have occurred. He was arrested the same day.

Samson went to jail but was later released on bail and retained the legal services of Lewiston lawyer Leonard Sharon.

Police scrambled for another search warrant on June 1, 2005, after learning that Samson may have destroyed some evidence and buried it in his backyard. Their efforts succeeded, with more evidence found.

In September 2005, Samson was arrested once more. Police said he was caught prowling a campground in Madison where he made contact with kids.

Samson was arrested by police in that town, accused of violating an order that prohibited him from having contact with youngsters under the age of 18.

Police who arrested Samson in Madison said he had gone in his recreational vehicle to a campground where he was involved with a 17-year-old boy.

Investigators from Lewiston said Samson was also found with photographs of children at the campground. The photos were seized as evidence and the camper was impounded by police.

In April of 2006, Samson was found guilty of:

• Six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor

• Four counts of gross sexual assault

• Three counts of unlawful sexual contact

• Visual sexual aggression

• Sexual abuse of a minor

• Unlawful sexual touching

• Falsifying physical evidence

• Violating conditions of release

Before his trial, Samson had filed a motion arguing that the first seizure was illegal because the affidavit didn’t connect the criminal acts to either one of the residences, and that the second warrant was illegal because it resulted from evidence seized during the illegal first search.

The motion was denied in the Androscoggin County Superior Court, and the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday affirmed the lower-court ruling.

Samson is serving a 42-year prison sentence.

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