Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Former Children’s Museum Director Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ROBERT ECKERT, 56, of West Hartford, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to distribution of child pornography.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Eckert used multiple internet platforms, including MeWe and Kik, to solicit, receive and distribute images of child sexual abuse and to communicate with others about the distribution of child pornography.  He accessed the online platforms on his phone, at his residence, and at the Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester where he was employed as its executive director.  Between September 2019 and May 2020, Eckert possessed 1,837 image files and 73 videos depicting child sex abuse, including the abuse of prepubescent minors.

Eckert was arrested on April 8, 2021.

Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for November 28, at which time Eckert faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Eckert is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.

This matter has been investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police and the Manchester Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nancy V. Gifford and Daniel Cummings.

This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.

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