Wayne Buchanan ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Ex-pastor facing child porn count



ELLSWORTH — The former pastor of a Tremont church has been charged with possession of child pornography, according to Hancock County District Attorney Matthew Foster.

Wayne Buchanan, 62, of Southwest Harbor was issued a summons Friday charging him with Class C possession of sexually explicit material.

The charge follows an almost yearlong investigation by the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit that began when a detective identified a particular computer “making available” files that previously had been identified as child pornography. The Maine Attorney General’s Office then issued a grand jury subpoena to identify the subscriber of the internet address, which proved to be Buchanan, with a service address at his Ridge Acres home in Southwest Harbor.

Detectives with the computer crimes unit executed a search warrant at Buchanan’s home on Jan. 6, seizing computers, thumb drives and a memory card. In an affidavit filed to support issuing the search warrant, Detective David Armstrong states another detective downloaded “numerous sexually explicit images” involving children from Buchanan’s computer.

The computer crimes unit reviewed the seized files and, this fall, referred the matter to the Hancock County District Attorney. Armstrong said in an email that Assistant District Attorney Toff Toffolon is the prosecutor in the case and gave the go-ahead to issue the summons.

On Tuesday, Foster said the case against Buchanan had been reviewed by federal authorities, who decided state charges were more appropriate. Investigators considered whether Buchanan was disseminating child pornography but found no evidence of that, Foster said.

Possession of sexually explicit material under Maine law falls under the heading sexual exploitation of minors and can either be a Class D or Class C crime, depending on the age of the victim. Class C, the crime Buchanan is accused of committing, involves victims under the age of 12.

Foster said he expects the Buchanan case, as with all felony level cases, to go before a grand jury. Most likely that would happen in early February, he said.

Buchanan faces up to five years in prison and fines of between $1,000 and $2,000.

Buchanan resigned as pastor of the Tremont Congregational Church and St. Brendan’s Anglican Mission on Jan. 7. At the time, the Rt. Rev. Julian Dobbs, diocesan bishop of the Convocation of Anglican Church in North America, issued a statement.

“In January, law enforcement contacted Dr. Buchanan regarding a matter unrelated to his ministry as a pastor,” Dobbs wrote.

Buchanan, Dobbs continued, has been “removed from his holy orders in the Anglican Church by action of the bishop according to the canons of the church and no longer is a member of the Anglican clergy.”

Buchanan, according to published reports, was active in boy scouting and at one time was president of the Katahdin Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

 

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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