Museum of Art security guard charged with child pornography - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Museum of Art security guard charged with child pornography

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A Birmingham Museum of Art employee faces federal child pornography charges. Investigators say he ordered videos and pictures and had them shipped to himself at work. 

A postal investigator filed charges Thursday against 53 year old Loyd Jeffrey Hitt. He worked as a security guard at the Birmingham Museum of Art for 15 years.  An investigation by the federal government showed the material was being sent to his mailbox at work.

"We were very distressed when we heard about this," Gail Andrews, Director, Birmingham Museum of Art said. "We are cooperating with the investigation completely and Mr. Hitt has been put on administrative leave without pay pending further action."

These court papers are graphic - so explicit and disturbing we can't even describe what's in them. They detail what investigators found in the videos and pictures sent to Hitt.  Many, involving sexual acts between young boys. 

According to an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service, Hitt ordered pictures and videos on multiple occasions since 2009. They searched his house finding even more child pornography on his computer. 

Hitt has worked as a security guard at the Museum of Art for the last 15 years.

"We don't want the public to think this isn't a place they should still frequent," Andrews said. "This gentleman had no interaction with children. He was a security officer. He guarded the entrances, watched security cameras and was not involved with our children's programs in any way."

During his interview Thursday, he admitted to receiving the images at work. The report shows Hitt changed his story several times. First, saying he thought the videos were legal but later admitting they were illegal and he destroyed the discs.

"We are very concerned about this situation and want the public to have a very positive image of the art museum," Andrews said. "It's a very positive place. This is an anomaly. All I can say is that we will cooperate in any way we can with authorities as this goes forward."

Hitt also told investigators he was heavily involved in his church youth group. The name of the church has not been released, but Hitt says he's no longer allowed to be in contact with them.  The hearing is set for next Wednesday, October 24.


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