November 7th, 2007 13:46 EST
Robert A. Singer CEO of National Children's Museum arrested on charges of child pornography
NEW YORK, NY - Michael J. Garcia, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Salvatore Dalessandro, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York, announced that Robert A. Singer was arrested this morning by ICE agents in Falls Church, Virginia, on charges of distributing child pornography over the Internet. According to the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:
From August 2007 to September 2007, Singer engaged in several instant messaging "chats" and electronic mail communications over the Internet with individuals whom he believed to be a thirty-three-year-old mother (the "Mother") and her twelve-year-old daughter (the "Daughter"). In fact, an undercover detective with the New York City Police Department ("NYPD") was posing as both the Mother and the Daughter.
Singer initiated contact with the Mother in a member-created America On Line ("AOL") chat room called "Cuties," on which people are known to trade in pornographic images, including child pornography. On five separate occasions in August 2007, Singer sent several images of child pornography over the Internet to the Mother and the Daughter, including images depicting sexual acts between minors and adults and images depicting known victims of child exploitation. In his electronic communications with the Daughter, SINGER pretended to be a fifteen-year-old boy. Shortly after sending the Daughter two images depicting child pornography, Singer instructed the Daughter to "just delete it when you are done."
A judicially-authorized search warrant of Singer's AOL account further revealed that, from July 2007 to September 2007, Singer sent approximately 80 images depicting child pornography to individuals, including the undercover NYPD detective. The search also revealed that SINGER had received over the Internet approximately 10 images and one video depicting child pornography.
Singer, 49, lives in Falls Church, Virginia, and works at the National Children's Museum in Washington, D.C.
Singer is charged with five counts of distributing child pornography in interstate commerce. Singer faces a maximum prison term of 20 years if convicted on the first count, and a potential maximum prison term of 40 years for each subsequent count of which he is convicted.
The defendant is scheduled to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia later today.
Mr. Garcia praised the investigative work of ICE and the NYPD in this case and also thanked the Bronx District Attorney's Office for its help and cooperation and for referring the case to the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
Assistant United States Attorney John P. Cronan is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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