Children's Museum worker charged with child-porn possession

Paul Fest, 43, was arrested last week after a co-worker turned in a thumb drive he'd allegedly left in her car that contained pornographic images of children, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

The DA's office adds that Fest, a facilities coordinator at the museum, is not accused of doing anything inappropriate with children at the museum or elsewhere.

Boston Municipal Court Judge Annette Forde released Fest on his own recognizance and ordered him to stay away from children. She also ordered him not to do any work with children by himself without prior approval from the probation department. She declined a request from prosecutors - who had sought bail of $25,000 - to bar Fest from the Internet and have his computer searched for porn at random.

According to the DA's office:

An employee of the Boston Children’s Museum approached Boston Police and Suffolk prosecutors on April 9 after discovering an unfamiliar thumb drive in her car, plugging it into a computer, and finding that it contained apparent images of child pornography. This employee told investigators that she allowed some co-workers - including Fest - to use her car for errands and did not know who the owner of the thumb drive was.

During the course of an investigation, Boston Police detectives obtained Fest’s permission to search his home computer and discovered that it, like the thumb drive, contained images depicting sexualized images of children, prosecutors said. During a post-Miranda interview, Fest allegedly made statements admitting to possession of child pornography.

Innocent, etc.

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Admitted it?

So, this prominent person at the Children's Museum admits to having child pornography after being found out and they release him? Seriously, if anyone seems likely to go beyond looking at porn, it's someone who gets a job with children despite their predisposition toward this type of behavior.
I hate that I have to teach my kids about unsavory possibilities at a young age because there are people like this in the world who prey on innocence.

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Not quite

So, this prominent person at the Children's Museum admits to having child pornography

We don't know that he admitted to having child pornography. What we know at this point, prior to his trial, is that he is accused by a detective of admitting to having child pornography.

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True that.

It's amazing how quick people are to to want to string someone up on the say-so of one underpaid and overworked newspaper reporter.

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All Males are Suspect!

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if anyone seems likely to go beyond looking at porn, it's someone who gets a job with children despite their predisposition toward this type of behavior.

Only he's been there for years without incident.

I'm not saying that child porn doesn't harm kids, but ... please.

Then again, you are probably that sort of person who suspects any male who likes to work with kids of being a perv, amirite?

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You know what?

I hate that I have to teach my kids about unsavory possibilities at a young age because there are people like this in the world who prey on innocence.

Your kids are unlikely to be molested to begin with.

However, if they are molested, that molester is far more likely to be a trusted family member than anybody else!

Also, molesters have always been with us - they aren't a new thing. What is new is that people actually listen to kids rather than punishing them for "making up bad things about Uncle McFeeley!".

So, yes, teach your kids. Ignorance in the service of innocence is usually a bad trade off.

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Come on now...

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Please leave the unfortunately-named Mr. McFeely out of this. He just wants to run his Speedy Delivery service in the neighborhood. Now that Fred Rogers is the kind of guy we need to watch out for...taking kids to "Make-Believe Land" and always inviting them into his house to do "crafts" and I've never once seen him court a woman...

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Most people who work at

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Most people who work at children's museums don't actually interact with the kids, and even when they do, it's in large groups with teachers and parents present.

There's an "eww" factor, but it's a stretch to call it dangerous.

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Still outrageous on the part of the judge

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IMHO. These are very serious charges, and it certainly appears he was caught with his pants down, so to speak. Add to that he works at an institution geared towards children, then yes, he should have held on bail, and yes, he should have been ordered to stay away from the internet. And if he made bail, he should have an ankle braclet.

There is obviously an issue with pedophiles working at institutions geared towards children such as teachers, and in positions of trust. And they are both male and female. For whatever reason, female pedophiles tend to be less harshly treated.

That said, the man certainly deserves his day in court. There have been prominent cases in the past that turned out to have been a witch hunt and people were falsly accused and convicted.

I love it, they terminate him immediately...

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"We will let due process take its course and let law enforcement handle this.”

....buuuuut we're going to fire him immediately before he's actually had his right to due process (that whole "day in court" where you get to challenge the evidence against you, defend yourself, etc), because it's more important that a not-for-profit organization keep up its attendance numbers than someone's rights and livelihood.

What rights of his were violated?

The Children's Museum has every right to stop purchasing labor from him and start purchasing it from someone else, for any reason or for no reason, so long as they aren't discriminating on the basis of membership in a protected class.

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Actually more about donors

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Massachusetts is an employment at will state, so you can get fired for nearly any reason or no reason at all (yes, some discriminatory reasons are prohibited).

It's so much less about attendance than about donors. Individuals and corporations have limited dollars to give and their not going to fork them over to an institution with even a rumored pedophile still on staff.

A Bit Late

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I'm a little late for this party, but it seems to me that some people here are forgetting that he's admitted to committing this crime. Others seem to forget that it's a crime at all!!