Eliot Cutler had ‘thousands of videos’ of child sex abuse, police say
If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.
Documents in the case against Eliot Cutler were unsealed on Tuesday, revealing a disturbing pattern of child pornography consumption.
After receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, police in January found video of a grown man sexually assaulting a 4- to 6-year-old girl in an online storage account owned by Cutler, according to a state police investigation into the former gubernatorial candidate. Dropbox, the storage account provider, had notified the national organization of the existence of the video in December.
Police then found flash storage drives containing “literally thousands of videos of very young children being sexually abused” at Cutler’s home in Brooklyn, wrote Glenn Lang of the Maine State Police in the IA. affidavit of arrest warrant.
Cutler’s home in Portland was also searched, although it has not been revealed what, if anything, was found there. And so far, no charges have been filed in court in Portland.
Before raiding Cutler’s homes, the police gained access through Dropbox to Cutler’s account. They discovered in the account history that hundreds of photos and videos of a teenage girl who was coerced into sharing sexual images of herself when she was 15-17 had been uploaded to the Dropbox account in April 2019 but were removed two years later. , the police wrote in court documents.
The footage was widely illegally shared online before Cutler obtained it, police said.
Police searched 447 gigabytes of data stored in Cutler’s Dropbox account, most of which appeared to be items saved from his computers and other devices. They found hundreds of other documents, photos and videos from his 2014 gubernatorial campaign, “a large number” of photos of Cutler and his family. There was also an email with information about a Vietnam visa application for Cutler, but the date that application was submitted was not noted.
The digital evidence led Maine State Police to obtain a search warrant to seize and search electronic devices found at his homes in Brooklyn and Portland. Police searched the homes on March 23. In Brooklyn, they seized 30 digital devices that could have been used to log into Cutler’s online account, including an iPod, laptops, desktop computers, external hard drives, USB drives, two electronic cameras and several flash cards. .
When police arrived at his home in Brooklyn, “Cutler told his wife that the search warrant was for child pornography and that we would likely find some on one of his computers,” Lang wrote in a warrant. subsequent stop.
While the police searched the house, Cutler sat down at a kitchen table and asked the police more than once if he could have his phone, but was told he couldn’t. He also told police he could show them “where things are” and that “there was nothing in the kitchen”.
Lang noted in the arrest warrant that Cutler would have to surrender his passport and face “very high cash bail” to be released.
“I believe that due to Mr. Cutler’s high volume of child pornography at a very young age and his extreme wealth while facing felony prosecution, he poses a very high flight risk,” Lang wrote.
Cutler was arrested on March 25, two days after his home was searched, and released the next day on $50,000 cash bond. It is unclear whether he also had to surrender his passport.
Several documents related to the investigation, including the inventory of what police seized during the search in Brooklyn, had been seized by Judge Robert Murray before Tuesday, when they were made public.
Also on Tuesday, Murray granted a request by Cutler’s attorney, Walter McKee, that Cutler be allowed to access the internet with a smartphone and computer so he could log into his bank accounts and perform other routine functions. Phone and computer serial numbers will be kept on file with officials involved in the case and will be equipped with programs that monitor Cutler’s internet usage in real time.