Police: Former Stratford man possessed child pornography on phones

Update:  Stratford Library Director Sheri Szymanski said the staff was not aware of Kruithof using any library computers. The library’s computers and wifi networks have filters installed to prevent access to pornographic websites, she said.

The library has an Internet Access Policy that complies with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000. In it, the library uses “state-provided filters in an attempt to prevent access to obscene materials.”

Visitors who misuse or abuse the library’s computers “or who fail to adhere to these guidelines may have their Internet privileges suspended or revoked at the library’s discretion.”

Szymanski said anyone found accessing pornography on the computers is given a warning and has their internet access revoked for 30 days. A person’s internet access is revoked permanently for a second offense.

Szymanski said staff will call police without warning if someone is found accessing child pornography on a library computer.

Word of Kruithof’s alleged use of the Stratford Library has not changed how the staff monitors people, Szymanski said, though she said it was “unfortunate” that he might have used the library for illegal activity.

“Ninety-nine point nine-nine percent of people use the resources appropriately,” she said. The arrest “has raised concerns, but it has not changed our behaviors,” the library director added.  

 

Original story: A former Stratford man is facing child pornography possession charges after Stratford police say the man had several phones with illicit images.

Police said Christopher Kruithof, 47, formerly of Judson Place, visited Stratford Police headquarters on July 3 to complain that his cell phone had been blocked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation because he had been viewing underage pornography on it. According to an arrest warrant on file in Bridgeport Superior Court, Kruithof told officers that he had performed a Google search for “underage girls” and had received a message purportedly from the FBI indicating that the agency was going to send a message to all his contacts that he was viewing the images.

Police officers later discovered that the phone, an ANS phone provided by the state, had been infected with malware. According to the arrest warrant, officers were able to decrypt the data and found multiple images of minors on it. Police seized Kruithof’s phone as evidence. Further investigation determined that the phone contained numerous images girls under age 16. Some were downloaded onto the phone, while others were images from magazines, books or printouts that were taken using the phone’s camera.

A warrant for Kruithof’s arrest was made on July 12.

Police served the warrant on Wednesday, July 25 when officers located Kruithof heading to a homeless shelter in Bridgeport. According to an incident report on file at Superior Court, Kruithof knew that his arrest for the images was coming. He told officers that he had a problem and was enrolled in therapy after speaking with an officer on July 3.

Kruithof was found in possession of printed images that he had printed from libraries in Stratford, Westport and Milford. Kruithof told officers he had thrown away 28 to 30 printed images because he knew he could not possess them while in the shelter.

Police said officers found more suspected child pornography images on an LG TracFone and about 96 more suspected images on a Samsung flip-style phone. Police said they also found notes of images and videos Kruithof had viewed. Police said Kruithof told officers that he kept the notes as a way of memorizing images after he deleted them.

Kruithof was charged on Wednesday with first-degree possession of child pornography. He was ordered held on $50,000 bond. According to state court records, Kruithof is  scheduled to appear on Aug. 9 in Bridgeport Superior Court.

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Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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