DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The 18-year-old Piscataquis Community High School student accused last month of receiving and sharing pornographic images of an underage girl on his cellphone entered no plea Monday during his initial appearance at the Piscataquis County courthouse, District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said.
Keenan Larry of Abbot was arrested on April 13 on charges of felony sexual exploitation of a minor, felony dissemination of sexually explicit material and misdemeanor possession of sexually explicit materials after he “solicited a fellow student to make a video of herself engaging in sexually explicit conduct” and then showed the video to other students, Almy said last month in an email.
Larry was released on $1,000 bail the next day. He faces at least five years behind bars if convicted, Almy said. Dover-Foxcroft lawyer Christopher Smith of Dover-Foxcroft was appointed to serve as Larry’s attorney, Almy said.
The girl made the video for Larry and then sent it as a text message to his cellphone, according to Almy.
The sharing of nude images by cellphone or other electronic device, known as “sexting,” is legal for consenting adults. However, those who possess or distribute nude images of minors in Maine are breaking the law.
Larry was charged with sexual exploitation of a child, the most serious of the three crimes, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and and a fine of up to $20,000, because “he solicited and disseminated” the child pornography, Almy said.
Because most teenagers have cellphones that can take and send photos, they need to know there are serious repercussions for sexting, Almy stressed.
“Do young people know that if their goal is to spend five years in jail that this is a quick and easy way to get it done?” the district attorney said.
The court can suspend the sentence for the Piscataquis Community High School student, if convicted, but only after a detailed opinion is written justifying the reasons, Almy said.
To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.
Bangor Daily News writer Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.