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Monday, March 26, 2007

Former Westport Teacher Pleads Guilty on Child Porn Charges

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Retired Westport middle school teacher Paul Held, 68, pleaded guilty today on federal child pornography charges, and federal officials called him “one of the most prolific collectors of child pornography” ever seen in Connecticut.paulheld75.jpg
Paul Held: sentencing set for June 14. File photo


Held, who taught at Bedford Middle School, was in New Haven U.S. District Court before Judge Mark R. Kravitz, and he pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography.

He was initially arrested in August 2005 on federal child pornography charges after he left a CD full of child pornography in a computer he loaned to his neighbor (See WestportNow Aug. 3, 2005).

Federal officials said at the time of his arrest, Held possessed “numerous computers, compact discs, magazines, photographs and VHS tapes containing child pornography.”

They said agents seized from his home on North Avenue more than 1,000 CDs with 3,000-4,000 child pornography images on each. They also took six computers and three external hard drives.

“This defendant possessed approximately three to four million images, which, unfortunately, makes him one of the most prolific collectors of child pornography that we’ve seen here in Connecticut,” U.S. Attorney Kevin J. O’Connor said.

“Federal laws that target the child pornography trade exist to eliminate the victimization of children all over the world, as those who possess child pornography help to create the market for this insidious practice. We will prosecute these crimes vigorously.”

Held is scheduled to be sentenced in Kravitz’s court on June 14, and he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years.

Posted 03/26/07 at 09:22 PM

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Hey Westport Citizens
This perv was identified as long ago as 20 years ago when my step daughter was at Bedford Jr High.  Since then he and the school were brought under the law for touching a middle school girl and finally was silently let go.  My daughter who was in his class 10 years ago has friends who silently admit this guy gave grades for videos, and complained then.
We have seen too many sicko teachers silently let go in the past year that pop up elsewhere.  This not only validates a Westport problem but a liability when an offense shows up in LI, VT, MA, ME or any other state these sick nonpersons end up.
WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY ? ? ?

Posted by chip stephens on March 27, 2007 at 01:09 AM | #
 

Darkness To Light, a wonderful nonprofit organization based in Charleston, has a groundbreaking program called Stewards Of Children that educates adults in prevention of child sexual abuse.  A trained facilitator leads a 3 hour workshop in youth-serving organizations (schools, churches, scouts, et al), and/or neighborhoods, offering knowledge and tools to create environments that minimize abuse possibilities for a minimal amount of money ($15).  Workshops are also available online at www.d2l.org.
I am a survivor of csa and now I am a facilitator for this program. Believe me, it is a labor of love. I urge Westport parents/teachers to look into bringing this prevention workshop to town.

Posted by Susan Komisar Hausman on March 27, 2007 at 03:37 AM | #
 

It’s about God damned time somebody is held accountable, but of course it’s not enough!!!!!!!!!  Just think of what these children had to endure over the most important and meaningful years of their lives!  Mandatory 5 years is a bunch of crap….105 years is more reasonable if you ask me. I will pray for each and every person that was unfortunate enough to interact with this ####____.  Those who “put the blinders on” , ( and you all know who you are) while these despicable acts were occurring, are just as responsible as this %$#@ himself!!  I say Bring the workshop to town as well, but there should be NO cost in preventing such a HEINOUS act directed at our children.

Posted by Stanley Millazzo on March 27, 2007 at 04:58 AM | #
 

If a local business or benefactor sponsors the workshops, then there will be no cost to the town or the participants.

Posted by Susan Komisar Hausman on March 27, 2007 at 11:56 AM | #
 

How typically sad is this “the parents fault?” Workshops?  People get a spine, it is time to DEMAND accountability within our school system and BOE.  I count at least 4 of these criminals that have been quietly let go to avoid our rage and seek accountability. How many others, its time to find out and fix this.  By the way PARENTS did shout and were silenced, workshops and comittees have discussed.  Someone within the Westport School system must address better come up with a fix or the lawyers will be having a field day with damage demands from the town then watch the school budget take off !!!

Posted by chip stephens on March 27, 2007 at 12:55 PM | #
 

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