Child psychiatrist arrested on child porn charges
By Bob Kalinowski
September 8, 2011
Dr. John Francis Theroux worked as a child psychiatrist at Children’s Service Center in Wilkes-Barre until his wife outed him as a “kiddy porn” addict during a marriage counseling session in late August and prompted a criminal investigation, police say.
The 53-year-old didn’t think he was doing anything wrong, police say.
Theroux, of Kingston, told investigators he believed that it was legal to view images of naked teen girls “as long as the children aren’t engaged in sexual acts,” according to arrest papers.
Kingston police on Tuesday charged Theroux with 66 counts of possession of child pornography and a single count of criminal use of a computer. He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Paul Roberts in Kingston, who ordered Theroux jailed in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $75,000 cash bail. Theroux brought a bail bondsman to his arraignment, hoping to avoid a trip to prison by putting up his Kingston home as collateral. However, his now-estranged wife refused the arrangement and he was sent to jail, officials said. He was later released on bail, his attorney Frank Nocito said.
“It’s especially distressing when an individual who deals with children and is in a position of trust is charged with this type of behavior,” Luzerne County District Attorney Jackie Musto Carroll said.
She said the investigation into Theroux continues.
While trying to argue for Theroux’s release on unsecured bail, defense attorney Nocito noted that Theroux was a decorated Army veteran who served in the Iraq war and served for a time at the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point. Theroux, board certified in internal medicine and child psychiatry, was honorably discharged from the Army in 2006 at the rank of colonel, Nocito said.
“There’s a long history of service to our country, your honor,” Nocito said.
Nocito said Theroux resigned his job last week. He left the marital home and was staying at a local hotel, Nocito said.
Children’s Service Center, a mental health care system for area children, issued a brief statement after Theroux’s arrest.
“Dr. Theroux was an employee of Children’s Service Center in the past, however he is not currently employed at the organization. Children’s Service Center has no knowledge of any inappropriate activity while Dr. Theroux was employed at CSC,” the statement said.
According to arrest papers filed:
Theroux was busted after his wife found suspected child porn images on his computer. At an Aug. 22 marriage counseling session, she said she “was not holding this back anymore” and revealed her husband’s penchant for “kiddy porn.” Theroux told the counselor the same thing he told police, that it was his belief possessing images of naked children is “not illegal if there isn’t any sex acts involved.”
The counselor soon reported Theroux to Kingston police, which then conducted a search warrant of Theroux’s home on Charles Avenue. During the search, Theroux agreed to speak to police. He said he had been downloading photos of nude teenage girls “for years” and likely had a collection of about 520 photos. He told police he was “addicted to teen images for arousal.” Investigators said the photos included children as young as 10-years-old.
A preliminary hearing for Theroux was scheduled for Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. in front of Roberts.
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