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Press Release

Former Children's Museum Director Sentenced to 66 Months in Prison for Distributing Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ROBERT ECKERT, 56, of West Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 66 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for distributing 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.

On June 12, 2020, investigators seized Eckert’s cellphone.  Analysis of the cellphone revealed 1,837 image files and 73 videos depicting child sex abuse, including the abuse of prepubescent minors.

Eckert was arrested on April 8, 2021.  On September 1, 2022, he pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography.

Eckert, who is released on a $100,000 bond, is required to report to prison on February 15.

This matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police and the Manchester Police Department.  The case was 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

To report cases of child exploitation, please visit

Updated January 3, 2023

Project Safe Childhood