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December 19, 2012

Keller pleads not guilty to federal child porn charges

Andover pediatrician indicted on 3 counts

BOSTON — An Andover pediatrician pleaded not guilty to federal child pornography charges yesterday and was ordered held at least until his next hearing in about three weeks.

Richard J. Keller, 56, of 10 Cyr Circle, was indicted last week on two counts of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He pleaded not guilty to all three counts during a short arraignment hearing at the John Joseph Moakely Courthouse.

Keller, dressed in a tan prison uniform and a sweatshirt, spoke little during the hearing, only acknowledging he understood the charges against him and entering his plea.

Defense attorney Max D. Stern, of Stern Shapiro Weissberg & Garin of Boston, declined to comment yesterday after the hearing.

Keller’s next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 10, and Judge Jennifer Boal ordered him held until then.

Each charge of receipt of child pornography is punishable with up to 15 years in prison for a first offense, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The possession charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Keller was arrested Sept. 13 on one receipt of child pornography charge during a raid of his home in which police said they found 500 photographs and as many as 100 DVDs containing sexually explicit images and videos of juveniles.

He most recently worked as a pediatric endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, though the hospital said yesterday he is no longer an employee.

He also was a pediatrics instructor at Harvard Medical School. The school has said it put Keller on leave, and did not respond to a query yesterday asking if he was still on leave.

Keller was the medical director at Phillips Academy for 19 years before stepping down in 2011. Statements from the school did not indicate why he left.

He surrendered his Massachusetts medical license, and in September New Hampshire suspended his license to practice there.

Investigators searched his split-entry home in Andover for nearly two hours on Sept. 13 as town police blocked off the entrance to the neighborhood, according to witnesses.

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