BANGOR, ME (STL.News) A former Brewer resident was sentenced today in federal court for possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced.
U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker sentenced Joseph L. Messier, 55, to 220 months in prison and 15 years of supervised release. Messier pleaded guilty on October 17, 2019.
According to court records, Messier possessed videos of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct, which he had purposefully sought out and received through the internet in early 2018. These videos depicted the sexual exploitation of prepubescent children under the age of 12. Messier faced an enhanced sentence of 10–20 years in prison because of a prior sex offense conviction.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit investigated this case. The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.