Dozens Of Victims Come Forward After Child Pornography Stash Found

More than 40 victims have come forward to police after more than 50,000 slides of child pornography were found in a West Hartford home that once belonged to a prominent doctor.

West Hartford police said the slides belonged to Dr. George Reardon, who practiced medicine at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center for more than 30 years, serving as chief of endocrinology.Reardon faced allegations of sexual abuse the early 1990s. He died in 1998.

The new owners of Reardon’s home on Griswold Drive found the slides in May during renovations.”The homeowner was renovating his basement, and as he was removing some paneling, he found a hidden compartment behind a wall,” Lt. Donald Melanson said.

The secret storage area was filled with slides and video of child pornography, police said. Police said the children that were found in the slides and films are anywhere from six to 15-years-old.

“They saw the first slide that fell out of the wall, realized what it was, and they did the proper thing by calling us,” Melanson said.

Police said there were about 50,000 35 mm slides. There were also more than 100 8 mm video reels.

Police said they believe Reardon took the photos.Police said they waited six months to go public about the images because of the quantity of images.”We had to analyze and catalog them,” Melanson said. “Also, we wanted to work with NCMEC, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to determine if any of these photos had been in circulation in the past.”

Police documented the slides and films in cooperation with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Police told NBC 30 most of the slides date from the 1960s to the 1980s, and the youngest child in the photos is estimated to be 6 years old. The number of victims appears to be in the hundreds, police said.

Police said the photos may have been shared with others. Police said that, based on notations on the slides, they believe Reardon was part of a pre-Internet network that traded images of abused boys and girls. They are trying to identify the victims in order to prosecute anyone in the country who possessing the images.

Reardon had lived in the Griswold Drive home for roughly 20 years. The family currently living in the home is the second owner since Reardon lived there.Police are asking anyone who believes their photo may be in this collection to contact police at 860-523-2070.Any information gathered will be kept in strictest confidence, police said.

Reardon’s Past Filled With Accusations Of Sexual Assault

In 1993, Reardon had his license suspended for alleged sexual misconduct, after being accused of sexually assaulting four young patients.

The incidents allegedly occurred from 1956 to 1981, but the patients didn’t start coming forward until 1987. In April 1993, another charge was filed.According to the state, the allegations all fit a pattern. In all four cases, Reardon allegedly masturbated and inappropriately touched the child.He also allegedly took sexually provocative photographs, according to past NBC 30 reports.In one case, Reardon allegedly showed the child hard-core pornographic photos in the guise of displaying medical photography, according to past NBC 30 reports.

St. Francis supported Reardon, but barred him from practicing.”Our sympathies go out to any families who may have been victims of any inappropriate activity by Dr. Reardon,” Saint Francis Hospital said in a written statement Wednesday afternoon. “At the time, Saint Francis fully cooperated with all federal and state authorities involved in this matter.”

According to documents, Connecticut officials suspended Reardon’s license in July 1993 after allegations of inappropriate contact with at least seven minor children from 1956 to 1989.Over the next few months Reardon faced a panel of state medical examiners, with his alleged victims testifying.Reardon resigned in 1993 amid accusations that he took advantage of youngsters in his care while he was a medical student in the 1950s.

The Medical Examining Board ruled in 1995 that they would drop the proceedings in exchange for the already retired doctor’s agreement to never practice medicine again.There were no state criminal charges, because the statute of limitations had expired by the time victims came forward.

New York state medical officials revoked Reardon’s medical license in 1997 based on the Connecticut situation. Reardon was initially given a medical license in New York state on Aug. 8, 1957.”The Respondent (Reardon) in the course of his medical practice took sexually explicit photographs of his minor patients and inappropriately manipulated body parts of his minor patients,” according to a document from the New York State Health Department. Victims who want to reach out to a counselor can call:

YWCA Counseling Line: 860-241-9217

  • Confidential Hotline: 888-999-5545

  • Spanish Hotline: 888-568-8332

    Published in: on December 10, 2007 at 6:54 am  Leave a Comment  

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