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Former State Court Victim Advocate Admits Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ROBERT ECCLESTON, 58, of Canton, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today via videoconference to one count of distribution of child pornography.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2020, covert FBI personnel in two different field offices outside of Connecticut were monitoring various public groups on the social medial application Kik.  In August and September 2020, Eccleston, using the Kik usernames “hartfordctguy” and “Mowgli100,” distributed numerous pornographic images and videos of children in these Kik groups, including images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of toddlers and prepubescent children.  Eccleston also served as an administrator of one Kik group and required prospective members to send him videos of child sexual abuse for group access.

Eccleston was arrested on December 11, 2020.  At the time of the offense, he was employed as a Victim Services Advocate for the Hartford Superior Court in Hartford.

Eccleston is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford on April 19, at which time he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Eccleston has been detained since his arrest.

This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Avon Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel M. Krull.

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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