Police: Westport man faces child porn charge

Photo of Amanda Cuda
The Westport Police Department.

The Westport Police Department.

Chris Marquette / Hearst Connecticut Media

WESTPORT — A local man turned himself in on child pornography and other charges, police said.

Michael Newman, 61, was charged Friday with obscenity, third-degree possession of child pornography and promoting a minor in obscene performance, according to police. Newman was released after posting a $250,000 bond and was arraigned Monday in court.

A warrant for Newman’s arrest said he was a therapist working out of an office on Compo Road South, but when investigators spoke with the licensing investigation division at the state’s Department of Public Health, a woman there told police she was unable to find “any type of license for Newman.”

The investigation began in December of last year when the department’s detective bureau received information that a town resident was possibly downloading child pornography onto his electronic devices, police said.

Investigators were tipped off by a technology company’s messaging service, which filed an electronic tip through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Police said the detective investigating the matter traced the IP address of the device being used to download the images to a Westport home.

Warrants were granted to search Newman’s computer and electronic devices of Michael Newman, according to police. Police said at least two images on Newman’s device matched the background of his office.

During one meeting with police, Newman told investigators he “does Torrent files” and wondered if that was how child sex abuse imagery was reported, the warrant said.

After seizing the devices, police said “images of suspected child pornography allegedly downloaded by Michael Newman were located.”

In a court filing, the state asked the court to impose additional conditions on Newman’s release beyond bail. Under the conditions requested, Newman would be barred from possessing a computer or internet device without the approval of probation officers. The conditions would also bar him from any unsupervised contact with minors or loitering where minors gather like playgrounds, malls or amusement parks, or from volunteering or being employed where he supervises minors.

He would also have to undergo a “psychosexual risk evaluation” through the probation office, the filing shows.