AUBURN — A Lewiston woman was behind bars Friday, charged with performing a sex act on a 4-year-old girl and sending video of it over the internet.

Laura Rideout Androscoggin County Jail

Laura Rideout, 45, of 26 Knox St., was charged with sexual exploitation of a child, gross sexual assault, possession of sexually explicit materials and dissemination of sexually explicit materials. The investigation also led to man in Bath who had received the video from Rideout in 2014. 

According to court documents, Rideout admitted to a detective that she had taken sexually explicit photos of the girl and recorded video of herself performing sex acts with the child. 

Rideout told police it was an isolated incident, and that she had only shared the video with one man via text message. 

She was arrested and taken to the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn where a judge later set bail at $50,000. 

According to a police affidavit by Detective Jason Bosco of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Task Force, finding Rideout, based on a 6-year-old video, was no easy task. 

Bosco was assisting New York State police with an investigation in July that involved an undercover officer posing as a father looking for someone to engage in sex acts with his 12-year-old daughter. 

When the Bath man connected with the undercover cop and agreed to have sex with the girl, the case began to develop. 

On July 28, with a warrant police searched the Bath man’s apartment, including a laptop that would later reveal the video of Rideout and the 4-year-old along with several lewd photos of the girl. Police said the Bath man cooperated with the investigation, admitting that he often solicited minors on the internet and that he possessed several sexually explicit images. 

It was not clear Friday whether the Bath man had been charged in the case.

When a forensic analyst went over the video found on the man’s laptop, she was able to determine that it had been created at an address on Maple Street in Auburn. It was later learned that Rideout had for a time lived at 28 Maple St. 

After learning Rideout’s name, Bosco pulled up her driver’s license from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles database. The detective wrote that he recognized the face in the BMV photo as that of the same woman who had appeared in the sexually explicit video with the girl. 

According to the affidavit, Bosco contacted the Department of Health and Human Services, where he learned that Rideout had “an extensive history with child protective services.” 

Rideout was tracked to 26 Knox St. in Lewiston where she had most recently been living. State and Lewiston police searched her home, seizing a laptop computer and two cell phones.

According to the affidavit, when questioned about the accusations against her, Rideout readily admitted to videotaping a sex act with the girl, with whom she is still acquainted six years after the video was created. 

Rideout has been ordered by the court to refrain from contact with anyone under the age of 16, should she be released on bail. A court date was set for Sept. 23.

 

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