AUGUSTA — A former Maine special education teacher has pleaded not guilty to federal child pornography charges.

Partrik Arsenault, who also faces state charges, was ordered held without bail after his arraignment last week in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Authorities said Arsenault, a 27-year-old Norridgewock resident who was a special education teacher for two years in Wayne, was indicted by a federal grand jury earlier this month on six child pornography charges related to two boys.

Arsenault has been in state custody since August on charges he sexually assaulted the boys, ages 6 and 7.

In August, 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.

Defense attorney Donald Brown said he expects the federal case to be heard before the state charges.

Information from the Bangor Daily News was used in this report.


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