Entertainment

Broadway producer arrested on child porn charges

FILE-- In this Tuesday, April 13, 2004 photo, Broadway producer Ben Sprecher speaks during a news conference in New York. On Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, Sprecher was arrested on child pornography charges.
FILE-- In this Tuesday, April 13, 2004 photo, Broadway producer Ben Sprecher speaks during a news conference in New York. On Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, Sprecher was arrested on child pornography charges. AP Photo

A Broadway producer whose first big-budget show was derailed by a con man's false financial promises was arrested Tuesday on child porn charges.

Producer Ben Sprecher, 65, of Manhattan, was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography and released on $100,000 bail with a warning to avoid unsupervised contact with children. His lawyer declined comment.

Sprecher made more than 100 files involving children available for downloading, according to Peter C. Fitzhugh, head of the New York office of Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Rothschild told a magistrate judge that Sprecher engaged in the online activity over a long period of time.

"This is not a one-off," he said.

A criminal complaint prepared by a New York City police detective said Sprecher admitted he possessed child porn files after waiving his Miranda rights during a search at his home Tuesday. The complaint said he possessed files since last October.

The complaint said the electronic files seized from Sprecher's residence included a nearly 46-minute video of a pre-teen girl engaging in sex acts with an adult male.

Sprecher was the lead producer of "Rebecca," a Broadway musical that was canceled before it was to open in fall 2012. A stockbroker later admitted he'd flimflammed the producers.

Sprecher, who lives at home with his wife and two adult children, has worked as a theater owner and manager and as a producer on revivals including "A Moon for the Misbegotten" and "American Buffalo."

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