PARIS – A former SAD 72 substitute teacher is behind bars after pleading guilty Thursday in Oxford County Superior Court to possessing child pornography.

Gilbert E. Telford, 69, of 43 Tracey Lane in Lovell was ordered to serve six months of a five-year prison sentence with six years of probation. He must register as a sex offender for 10 years, forfeit computers seized from his home, and not possess any personal computer or peripheral equipment such as hard drives.

Possession of sexually explicit materials of a minor under the age of 12 is a felony punishable by a maximum of five years in prison.

Telford came under investigation after a woman who cleaned his home every other week became concerned about materials she discovered in the house. These included spiral notebooks with profiles of and descriptions of boys, pornographic titles, Web site addresses, and airline flight schedules.

The housekeeper also said Telford only displayed pictures of boys in the house and had asked her if she knew any young boys who could work around the house. The housekeeper contacted the principal of the New Suncook School in Lovell, who got in touch with Sgt. Matthew Baker of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office.

Five computers were seized from the house, as well as books, CDs and DVDs. According to Assistant District Attorney Joe O’Connor, the Maine Computer Crimes Task Force discovered about 7,500 pornographic pictures and dozens of video clips of prepubescent boys engaged in sexual activity.

When Justice Robert E. Crowley asked Telford if he disputed the evidence O’Connor would have presented, Telford replied, “I do, your honor, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.”

Telford agreed that the state could prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. He appeared before Crowley in an orange jail uniform, having started his sentence last Monday in Oxford County Jail.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified several of the children in the materials. None was local.

Last September, Justice Joyce Wheeler ruled that the materials discovered in Telford’s home were admissible as evidence. Defense attorney Walter McKee had argued that there was no evidence linking Telford’s computers with child pornography and that the housekeeper had not reported seeing any child pornography in the house.

Telford had been serving as a substitute teacher with SAD 72, which serves Fryeburg, Lovell, Denmark, Sweden, Brownfield, Stoneham and Stow.

Telford had no prior criminal history.


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