Old Town men sent back to federal prison on child pornography charges

Two Old Town men who have had a romantic relationship for more than 30 years were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Bangor for the second time on child pornography charges.

Patrick James Monahan, 52, was sentenced to 35 years in prison, and Kenneth McLay, 47, was sentenced to 20 years. Both men pleaded guilty to separate charges in September.

Monahan pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of children and distribution and possession of child pornography. McLay pleaded guilty to distribution and possession of child pornography.

In sentencing Monahan, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock said, “When Congress passed the child pornography laws, they had a person like you in mind.”

That’s almost exactly what the judge said at Monahan and McLay’s sentencing in 2005 on similar charges.

“I have to conclude you are simply incorrigible,” the judge said. “You cannot stop yourself. The only way you can stop is if society stops you. It is my duty to put you in a place where you can do no more harm, where you cannot create any more victims.”

From mid-2016 to mid-2017, Monahan posed as a teenager online and persuaded two teenage boys to send him videos of themselves engaged in sexual activity, according to court documents. He uploaded some of them to a pornographic website that the general public could access. In addition, both Monahan and McLay possessed child pornography on more than a dozen electronic devices.

Monahan and McLay also allegedly mailed gifts between late 2016 and mid-2017 to one of the boy’s grandmothers’ homes that included T-shirts, underwear, fishnet stockings, vibrators and a hair removal product, court documents said. While the men communicated by telephone and on the internet, they never met the boys in person. Neither of them lived in Maine.

Both defendants told investigators that they were sexually abused as children, according to court documents.

McLay and Monahan first were sentenced in federal court in Bangor in 2005 for possessing child pornography after pleading guilty. Monahan was sentenced to nearly five years in prison and McLay was sentenced to 2½ years. Monahan’s sentence was longer due to his more significant criminal history.

Both men were sent back to prison after their initial release for violating their federal probation, according to court documents. Monahan was last released Aug. 31, 2011, and McLay was last released Nov. 16, 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons’ online inmate locator.

Both men have undergone sex offender treatment as part of their federal supervised release, according to court documents.

Because of their prior convictions, both men faced long prison terms on the new charges. Monahan faced between 25 to 50 years in federal prison on the most serious charge of exploitation of a minor, and McLay faced between 15 and 40 years for possessing child pornography.

In addition to prison time, Woodcock sentenced both men to a lifetime of supervised release. He also ordered them to pay restitution of $1,500 to one of the victims for counseling.

If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.

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