Unity man charged with sexually exploiting teenager

By Ben Holbrook | Mar 27, 2014
Courtesy of: Waldo County Jail Robert Ayer

Unity — An 18-year-old Unity man is facing a felony sexual exploitation of a minor charge and additional misdemeanors following his arrest March 21.

State police arrested Robert Ayer and charged him with sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class B felony; sexual misconduct with a child under 14 years of age, a Class D misdemeanor; and solicitation of a child to commit a prohibited act, a Class D misdemeanor.

Trooper Benjamin Sweeney, one of the arresting officers, said police received a report of Ayer's alleged actions from a concerned adult March 19. Following their initial investigation, Sweeney said enough evidence was gathered to charge Ayer.

According to Sweeney's affidavit, Ayer and the victim engaged in conversations via the social media website Facebook that were sexually explicit in nature. Sweeney determined Ayer was the instigator of the sexually explicit conversations and that he allegedly sent photos of his genitalia to the victim in an attempt to elicit a response.

The victim in turn, according to Sweeney's affidavit, sent photos of herself in “various stages of clothing concealment.”

After the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit and Detective Jason Andrews of the Major Crimes Unit were contacted to report the conversations between the victim and Ayer, the victim confirmed to police the conversations viewed on the computer.

However, the victim stated Ayer had only sent her three or four photographs while she had sent “a lot more.” The victim also told police that Ayer never “pushed her past her comfort level” and she denied having any sexual relations with Ayer.

She also told police that she and Ayer agreed that they would have to wait until she was of age.

Sweeney said he was unsure at this time if there will be additional charges brought against Ayer, or if there are any other victims.

Ayer was released from jail after posting $500 bail Monday, March 24, Sweeney said. Ayer has conditions that he not have contact with the victim or the victim's family members; not have contact with a female under the age of 16; not use social media; that he submit to random searches of his computer and devices.

He is scheduled to appear in Belfast District Court May 29.

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