Crime

Former Boal Mansion CEO Lee indicted on federal charges of producing child pornography

Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee

A federal grand jury has returned a new indictment against the former executive director of the Boal Mansion Museum.

Allegations Christopher Lee, 66, of Boalsburg, was involved in the production of child pornography and that he aided in the tampering of evidence were added in the indictment handed up Wednesday in U.S. Middle District Court.

The four counts from the indictment returned in October remain. They accuse Lee of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity, transporting of a minor for sexual purposes and receiving and possessing child pornography.

The new indictment accuses the former Harris Township supervisor of enticing a minor in 2005 and 2006 to participate in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a video.

The other new count alleges Lee participated with others in attempts in October and November to “alter, destroy, mutilate and conceal” the contents of a cellphone to impair its integrity in a federal investigation.

The charge does not indicate who else was involved. Lee was in jail at the time because he has been detained without bail since his arrest after the Oct. 1 original indictment.

The indictments were the result of an investigation started by State College police after they were told a boy from the United Arab Emirates allegedly had been sexually molested in the living quarters at the museum.

The museum conducts educational summer programs using students recruited in the United States and other countries as volunteer tour guides.

At Lee’s bail hearing in November, Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Taylor said 70,000 images of child pornography and erotica had been discovered on a laptop computer and external hard drive seized during the investigation.

Lee “remains steadfast in his resolve that he is not guilty of any of these allegations,” his attorney, Kyle Rude, said when reached Thursday. “In due time and through the due process of the criminal justice system, Mr. Lee believes he will be vindicated.”

Due to the new charges, it is unlikely Lee will be tried next month as originally planned. Prosecutors wrote in the filing that they intend to request a continuance in the trial. Jury selection was slated to begin April 6.

If convicted of producing child pornography, Lee would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison, according to the court filing. A tampering with evidence conviction could give him up to 20 years in prison.

Lee has been in custody since Oct. 2, charged with using facilities in interstate commerce to entice or coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity and possession and receipt of child pornography, according to the Department of Justice.

On Feb. 2, Harris Township Manager Amy Farkas announced that Lee had official resigned his position as a township supervisor.

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