Montpelier man faces charges for child sexual abuse materials

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BURLINGTON — A 58-year-old Montpelier man, Jeffery Paul Coolidge, was charged on Friday with the production, distribution, and possession of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM), as announced by the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont.

Coolidge, who is temporarily detained, is scheduled for a detention hearing on Wednesday, August 16.

Coolidge, who operated under the alias “phantasy” on darkweb forums, is accused of sharing explicit photographs of a male child, aged between four and fourteen years, on August 8, 2023.

He was arrested the following day by Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the Montpelier Police Department.

The United States Attorney’s Office stressed that these are allegations and Coolidge is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If convicted, he faces a minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years’ imprisonment for the production of CSAM, a minimum of 5 years and up to 20 years’ imprisonment for the distribution, and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for possession.

The final sentence will be determined by the Court under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

U.S. Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest applauded the investigatory efforts of Homeland Security Investigations, the Montpelier Police Department, Vermont’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Vermont Attorney General’s Office.

The case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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