Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced today that ROBERT ECKERT, 56, of West Hartford, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 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 child sexual abuse images and to communicate with others about distribution of child pornography. He accessed online platforms on his phone, at his residence and at the Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester where he was employed as executive director. Between September 2019 and May 2020, Eckert had 1,837 image files and 73 videos depicting child sexual abuse, including abuse of prepubescent minors.
Eckert was arrested on April 8, 2021.
Judge Underhill set his sentence for November 28, when Eckert faces a mandatory minimum jail term of five years and a maximum jail term of 20 years.
Eckert is released on $100,000 bond pending sentencing.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from Connecticut State Police and the Manchester Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys Nancy V. Gifford and Daniel Cummings.
This lawsuit is part of the US Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, which aims to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about the Safe Childhood Project, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.