A judge has barred public access to documents connected to the police search of Eliot Cutler’s Portland home on March 23.
Cumberland County Superior Court Judge MaryGay Kennedy granted the motion to seal the search warrant, the affidavit and the list of items seized by Maine State Police on Thursday after a request from Cutler, according to a court document.
Similar documents in Hancock County, where Cutler has been charged on child pornography offenses and is out on bail, were sealed last week. A judge on Wednesday extended that impoundment order until May 3 or until Cutler is indicted, whichever occurs sooner. The Hancock County grand jury is expected to meet later this month, though it is not clear if prosecutors will present Cutler’s case to the grand jury at that time.
Cutler, 75, a two-time candidate for Maine governor who came within 10,000 votes of the Blaine House in 2010, was arrested on March 25 in Brooklin on four felony charges of possessing photographs and/or videos of child sexual abuse, or child pornography, involving a child under the age of 12.
Police searched Cutler’s Portland home at 84 Pine St. on March 23, but he has not yet been charged with a crime there. Cumberland County District Attorney Jonathan Sahrbeck said Friday that the investigation into Cutler was ongoing, noting that he had spoken to the Maine State Police about it on Thursday.
Sahrbeck has not publicly stated the reason for the search, noting the ongoing investigation.
The search warrant on Cutler’s Portland was for both the residence and digital media there – the order from the judge did not provide any other details.
Police have 10 days after executing a search warrant to file it in court. The documents were filed sometime after noontime yesterday and were sealed that same day.
Cutler was released from Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth on March 26 after paying $50,000 cash bail. A multi-millionaire, Cutler became wealthy as an attorney with expertise in environmental law.
The investigation into Cutler began with a tip in December, police said. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children informed Maine State Police that someone in Maine had either downloaded or uploaded a single illegal image.