The Federal Bureau of Investigation, District of Columbia field office, announced yesterday, that a Hinsdale, New .Hampshire resident was sentenced for sexually assaulting two children a year and a half ago. This investigation began in November 2012 when an FBI/Metropolitan D.C. Police Department task force received images of child pornography from an individual from Hinsdale. Undercover officers had been communicating with the accused. The suspect had sent the investigator sexually explicit images of children.
Benjamin Maes, 32, pleaded guilty Monday in Cheshire County Superior Court to two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and received sentences from Judge John Kissinger, three days after Maes was sentenced to 300 months (or 25 years) in federal prison as the result of a plea deal reached in March. All the charges, including one count of sexual exploitation of children, were brought against Maes for inappropriately touching a young boy and a young girl in 2012.
According to Assistant Cheshire County Attorney John Gasaway who prosecuted the case for the State of New Hampshire, Maes had stated Maes began viewing child pornography because he felt he wasn't getting any attention at home. Continuing Gasaway stated that Maes, sexually assaulted two children then took photographs and video of them without their knowledge. Maes then also sent the photographs to other men via Craigslist in exchange for pictures of other children. During the investigation and search of the accused homes, various electronic items were seized. Examination of his cellular phones revealed numerous images of child pornography, including images of Maes engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a minor. Judge Kissinger of the Cheshire County Superior Court in sentencing Maes also stated his concern for the children in the images and that the images should be sealed due to their graphic nature and there was no objection by Maes or New Hampshire Public Defender Jay Buckey who represented Maes.
According to the FBI, this investigation was the result of agents working together from several agencies including the Washington D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, the Hinsdale Police Department and the New Hampshire Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. The case was prosecuted with the aid of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood, is led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) then works with federal marshals , state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and they work together to prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.