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Press Release

Indictment Charges Former Children's Museum Director with Distributing Child Pornography

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

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Boston, today announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford has returned an indictment charging ROBERT ECKERT, 56, of Simsbury, with distribution of child pornography.

The indictment was returned on April 6.  Eckert appeared today via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert A. Richardson and entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.  He is detained pending a follow-up bond hearing that is scheduled for tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.

The government alleged during today’s court proceeding that Eckert used multiple online platforms to 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.

If convicted of the charge of distribution of child pornography, Eckert faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 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. Attorney Nancy V. Gifford.

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 April 8, 2021

Project Safe Childhood