Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

November 7, 2013

Former Phillips doctor pleads guilty in child porn case

Dr. Richard Keller, an Andover resident and former longtime medical director at Phillips Academy in Andover, had pleaded guilty in federal court to child pornography charges.

Keller, 57, of 10 Cyr Circle, faces five to six years in jail on two counts of receiving and one count of possessing child pornography following his guilty plea on Monday to charges dating to September 2012.

He remains in the custody of U.S. marshals and is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 27 in Boston.

According to a plea agreement presented before U.S. District Court Judge Dennis Saylor IV, Keller admitted buying child pornography from a Toronto company and having some of it sent to the student health center at Phillips.

Keller, who was also a longtime pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, worked as Phillips Academy’s medical director for 19 years until the academy failed to renew his contract in 2011.

John Palfrey, the head of school at Phillips, said in an email to students and parents after Keller’s arrest last year that the decision to not renew Keller’s contract was based on professional misconduct unrelated to the federal case.

Palfrey said Keller had been reprimanded in 1999 for using a school computer to access adult pornography and had shown an inappropriate cartoon to students in 2002.

On Monday, a spokeswoman at Phillips issued a statement reiterating that Keller left his position in April 2011 “for reasons unrelated to this case.”

She added that “at no time during his employment or during the subsequent investigation has anyone alleged criminal behavior by Richard Keller relating to his former role with Phillips Academy.”

As part of the plea agreement, Keller acknowledged that he has had a sexual interest in adolescents since the early 1970s. In a written agreement filed in court, Keller also acknowledged viewing child pornography on the Internet and “that he has previously tried to stop, but failed to do so.”

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