Christopher Watkinson, Technical Director and Adjunct Lecturer in Music at the College who also served on the Brunswick town council, was indicted in late November on charges of child pornography. Watkinson is currently on leave from his positions at the College, according to a spokesperson who declined to answer further questions regarding Watkinson’s status.
Watkinson was indicted by a Cumberland County Grand Jury on one charge of possession of sexually explicit material of a minor under the age of 12, a Class C felony, and one charge of possession of sexually explicit material, a Class D misdemeanor, according to the Portland Press Herald.
The indictment accuses Watkinson of accessing explicit images or videos of a child younger than 12 in June 2021; an investigation has been ongoing since. Watkinson submitted a statement to the Portland Press Herald, professing his innocence.
“During the past 18 months, I have done everything in my power to cooperate with law enforcement’s investigation. In order to erase any suspicion of wrongdoing on my part, I provided law enforcement with 21 different electronic devices, along with login IDs and passwords, for them to search and analyze,” Watkinson said in the statement. “During my cooperation with this investigation I pleaded with law enforcement to be as thorough and expedient as possible, as I was and continue to be concerned about the impacts of such a charge on my family.”
In addition to working for the College, Watkinson served as the District 5 representative on the Brunswick Town Council, but he stepped down from his position on November 18. He was first elected in 2017 and ran for reelection in 2020. The position is currently listed as vacant on the Town website. Chair of the Town Council James Mason declined to comment on the details of Watkinson’s resignation.
Watkinson last taught at Bowdoin in the spring of 2022, when he taught MUS 1451: Introduction to Audio Recording Techniques. Watkinson was initially scheduled to teach the class again this upcoming spring, but the course was canceled due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to an email sent by the registrar’s office to registered students on Tuesday afternoon. Representatives from the Office of the Registrar, the Department of Music, the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Communications declined to comment further on the details of Watkinson’s leave.
Watkinson was released on personal recognizance, the Press Herald reported, and is not allowed to have unsupervised contact with children under 18.