Biddeford school worker arrested on federal charge of images of sexual abuse

BIDDEFORD, Maine – A Biddeford Middle School employee was arrested on Friday for detaining images of child sexual abuse and attempting to send explicit images and videos of himself to someone he believed be a 13 year old girl.

The person Jesse Kiesel, 48, allegedly sent the images to, however, turned out to be a law enforcement officer specializing in investigating internet crimes against children, according to federal court records.

The two alleged breaches occurred in April 2021 and officers executed a search warrant in early May 2021, raiding Kiesel’s home in Biddeford and seizing his computer equipment and data from his Google account, according to court records prepared and filed. by the police.

If convicted, Kiesel faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000 for each charge. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

In addition to Kiesel’s footage, court documents describe three graphic images and a video of children that police say they found on Kiesel’s computer.

Investigators told the court they believed Kiesel used SnapChat, Chat Avenue and Google Hangouts to inappropriately communicate with minors online. He allegedly used a personal Google account that listed his Biddeford Schools email address as the backup recovery email address.

When speaking voluntarily with law enforcement, Kiesel at first denied sending explicit images of himself to minors, but then admitted he had done so “maybe once. “, according to an affidavit prepared by Homeland Security Investigations Task Force Officer Ronald Phillips.

Later in the interview, Kiesel said he had been using chat rooms since the late 1990s, that “the ‘kid stuff’ started about a year ago” and that he thinks he has an addiction, according to the Phillips interview account.

Kiesel’s defense attorney John Scott Webb did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

At one point during the investigation, law enforcement informed administrators at Biddeford Schools that an investigation was underway. Superintendent Jeremy Ray said Kiesel was put on administrative leave in the spring of 2021.

Kiesel held the job title “Ed Tech II,” according to his LinkedIn profile.

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