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School: Boston doctor was disciplined for viewing adult pornography

From Chris Boyette, CNN
updated 10:44 PM EDT, Fri September 14, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Federal prosecutors file child pornography case against Boston physician
  • Boarding school cites unrelated incidents allegedly involving doctor
  • Richard Keller worked at school for 19 years, then resigned

(CNN) -- The Boston Children's Hospital pediatric doctor charged with receipt of child pornography was disciplined for using a school computer to access adult pornography when he was medical director at Phillips Academy boarding school, school officials said Friday.

Richard Keller, 56, who is also a pediatrics clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, was the medical director at Philips Academy for 19 years, according to John Palfrey, the head of the school.

In an e-mail to faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents on Friday, Palfrey said Keller was reprimanded in 1999 for using an academy computer to access pornography that featured adult subjects, and in 2002 was reprimanded for showing an inappropriate cartoon to students.

According to Palfrey, Keller was cited for "poor management and poor judgment," leading the Andover, Massachusetts, school to place him on administrative probation in 2009.

Palfrey went on to say that as recently as 2010, Keller sent an inappropriate voice-mail message to a colleague at the school. A claim by Keller that the school had discriminated against him was determined to be "groundless," according to Palfrey.

In April 2011, the academy informed Keller that his contract would not be renewed. The doctor resigned that month, the school said.

"We have no reason to believe that any of our students were involved in, or affected by, Dr. Keller's alleged criminal behavior," Palfrey said, adding the federal case made Thursday against Keller is unrelated to alleged misconduct at Phillips.

Keller's name came to the attention of authorities after the U.S. Postal Inspection Service began a 2010 investigation into a movie production company that sold films featuring minor boys, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators conducted a review of the company's customer database and located alleged customer Richard Keller, who had two addresses listed, authorities said.

Investigators determined that Keller allegedly had, on multiple occasions, purchased child pornography from the company's website, according to the complaint.

Receipts and purchase summaries that were found during the investigation showed that the doctor allegedly made 19 online transactions totaling $2,695, prosecutors allege. Some of the pornographic material was sent to Phillips Academy's student medical center, according to the complaint.

Authorities searched Keller's residence Thursday and seized approximately 500 high-gloss printouts of child pornography and between 60 to 100 DVDs containing films of minors engaged in explicit sexual conduct, according to court documents.

A statement released by Boston Children's Hospital says that there have been no complaints by patients or family members concerning Keller's medical services.

He is on administrative leave from both the hospital and from Harvard Medical School pending the results of the investigation, according to statements released by both institutions.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Keller faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 20 years in prison, to be followed by up to lifetime supervised release and a $250,000 fine if convicted. A detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorney's office told CNN on Friday Keller is hiring an attorney, but did not know who.

In the interim, Page Kelley with the federal defender's office is representing him. Kelley did not return calls Friday seeking comment.

CNN's Nina Melendez contributed to this report.

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