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Sat Apr 10, 2021, 07:06 AM

(CT) Ex-children's museum leader pleads not guilty to child porn


A former leader of a Connecticut children's museum has been charged with distributing images of child sexual abuse online, including while he worked for the museum. Robert Eckert, 56, of Simsbury, former executive director of the Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester, pleaded not guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography Thursday via a video conference in federal court in Hartford. He is detained pending a bail hearing Friday afternoon.

Prosecutors allege Eckert distributed images of child sexual abuse and communicated with others about the images using online platforms. They say he accessed the platforms on his phone, at his home and at the museum.

His lawyer, Trent LaLima, said that Eckert is married with children and that his wife is willing to put up the $125,000 to $150,000 equity in the family's home, which she owns, as security for his bond.

The museum's attorney, Ryan O'Donnell, said Eckert was placed on administrative leave when museum officials first learned of the allegations and was fired a short time later.


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