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Child Exploitation

Former south Maine school teacher sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for transporting a minor across state lines for sex

PORTLAND, Maine - A local man was sentenced on Thursday to 12 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release for transporting a minor across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity.

U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby previously found James Raymond, 29, of Auburn, Maine, guilty after presiding over a non-jury trial. The sentence resulted from an investigation led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

"The ICE Office of Homeland Security Investigations aggressively uses its investigative authorities to protect our communities from those who seek to sexually exploit the most vulnerable members of our society - our children," said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Boston. Foucart oversees ICE HSI throughout New England. "ICE HSI will continue to aggressively pursue and hold accountable individuals involved in this vile behavior."

Evidence introduced at trial showed that on two occasions in the summer of 2007, Raymond, then a music teacher in the Auburn school system, transported an 11-year-old student and her younger sister from Auburn to Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire. On both trips, Raymond intentionally touched the buttocks of his student for the purposes of his sexual gratification. Such conduct is illegal under both Maine and New Hampshire law. Judge Hornby concluded that Raymond had the intent to involve the 11-year-old in prohibited sexual conduct when he made the interstate trips.

The Auburn Police Department also assisted with the investigation.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.