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New Haven man pleads innocent in porn case

BURLINGTON — A 20-year-old Addison County man has pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court to federal charges of distribution of child pornography and assault on a federal agent during a court-ordered search at his home.
Colin Germain, who was living at his family home on Twitchell Hill Road in New Haven at the time of the charges, appeared briefly in court in Burlington this past Friday to deny both felony charges.
Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy agreed to release Germain on conditions, including that he now live in Orwell. Germain’s guardianship has recently changed, court records show.
Conroy restricted Germain’s travel to Vermont, unless pre-approved. Germain must participate in mental health counseling and stay away from government witnesses. But he is allowed to have contact with his mother and stepfather, Conroy ruled.
Germain also is prohibited from possessing any child pornography; can’t associate with anybody under the age of 18, except with the presence of an adult who knows his background; must avoid any areas where children congregate, including schools and daycare facilities, playgrounds, parks and arcades unless pre-approved.
If convicted, Germain faces between 5 and 20 years in prison on the child pornography count and up to eight years in prison on the assault charge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said
Germain was initially charged by the Department of Homeland Security in a criminal complaint maintaining he knowingly used his computer on Aug. 2 to distribute the visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Germain also faced a second charge that he kicked a federal investigator while a court-ordered search was conducted at his New Haven home on Nov. 7.
Germain appeared briefly in court on March 9 to learn about the charges against him and the hearing was continued until March 16. A federal grand jury indicted Germain on the two felony charges, the day before his hearing was due to continue.
Federal agents also requested another search warrant from Conroy on March 13 to go through three game systems, one iPod and four iPhones that were seized during the house raid, court records show.
The search warrant request said investigators were seeking evidence of two crimes: production of child pornography and the distribution/possession of child pornography.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole P. Cate had maintained Germain should be detained for the safety of the community and that the crime victim was a minor. She also noted that when investigators returned to the Germain residence on Feb. 9 there was evidence that he had internet access, an apparent violation of conditions imposed in a state case, Cate wrote.
During a Nov. 7 search at the Twitchell Hill Road residence, federal agents, assisted by Bristol and state police, seized 61 cell phones, 45 Apple iPods, 13 thumb drives, 3 DVD/CDs, and 2 computer tablets among other items, Special Agent Mark Curtis of Homeland Security Investigations reported in court papers.
Court papers maintain Germain kicked Special Agent Michael McCullagh in the upper, inner section of his right thigh near his groin.
Following the November raid, Germain admitted to sending a video involving a girl, Special Agent Caitlin Moynihan said in her five-page complaint. Moynihan said he estimated the girl was about 8 to 10 years old.
Germain has denied any sexual contact with children.
A child pornography case in Tennessee in March 2016 sparked the Vermont investigation. As the initial investigation continued and a search was conducted in Hartsville, Tenn., on Aug. 14, 2017, investigators found a link to Vermont, court records show.
An email address eventually was traced to the residence in New Haven, court records show.
Vermont State Police reported they had gone to the house in November 2016 for a family fight and Germain’s mother, Maureen Stevens, indicated that her son “has mental health issues.” Germain, who allegedly had assaulted his stepfather, was taken into protective custody that day, court records show.

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