Doctor accused in child porn case to stay jailed

AP News
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Posted: Sep 21, 2012 4:06 PM
Doctor accused in child porn case to stay jailed

BOSTON (AP) — The former medical director of an exclusive Massachusetts prep school will stay jailed on a child pornography charge, for now.

Physician Richard Keller waived his rights to detention and probable cause hearings during a Friday appearance in federal court in Boston.

Authorities arrested the 56-year-old on Sept. 13, saying they seized hundreds of photos and several dozen DVDs of child pornography from his Andover home.

Law-enforcement officials say Keller had child porn delivered to him on the campus of Phillips Academy before his 2011 resignation.

The Andover boarding school's alumni includes former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and his father, along with Humphrey Bogart and John F. Kennedy Jr.

Keller also voluntarily surrendered his state medical license this week, while the Massachusetts medical board does its own investigation.

Children's Hospital in Boston also put the pediatric endocrinologist on leave from his job, as did Harvard Medical School, where Keller is a pediatrics instructor.

If the defendant hadn't waived his rights Friday, the U.S. Attorney's Office would have provided more details to the court about the government's case against him.

Keller was in court for just a few minutes, wearing a tan inmate's uniform, handcuffs and leg irons. He spoke to his two lawyers in a hushed tone and downed a drink before answering a few questions from Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal.

Keller's attorney Max Stern declined to comment after court.

Keller worked at Phillips Academy until school officials told him they wouldn't renew his contract after 19 years of employment.

The academy's headmaster John Palfrey told the school community in an email after Keller's arrest that the contract decision was based on the physician's professional misconduct unrelated to the federal case.

Palfrey said school officials reprimanded the doctor in 1999 after he accessed adult pornography on a school computer. Keller also showed an inappropriate cartoon to students in 2002 and left an inappropriate voicemail for a colleague in 2010, Palfrey's email said.

Academy officials haven't provided more details about the cartoon after repeated requests this week.

Keller's arrest isn't the first child pornography scandal connected to the Andover boarding school.

In 1995, New Hampshire police arrested Phillips' English teacher David Cobb and he later went to prison for child pornography, attempted sexual assault, and having sexual contact with two children in Maine.