The artistic adviser for the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and its youth orchestra was arrested Tuesday and charged in federal court with possession of child pornography, law enforcement officials said.
David St. George, 71, of Arlington, is accused of storing online 83 images and videos depicting sexual abuse of children, including a 1-year-old girl, according to the US attorney’s office.
He was charged with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, prosecutors said in a statement.
In a statement, the Boston Philharmonic said it had learned of St. George’s arrest Tuesday afternoon and had suspended him “pending further investigation.”
Authorities in Boston received information regarding an online storage account suspected of containing child pornography, the statement said. The IP address linked to the account was assigned to St. George’s Internet account, according to the US attorney’s office.
The youth orchestra, according to its website, was formed in 2012 and includes 120 musicians, ranging in age from 12 to 21.
A search of St. George’s home on Tuesday yielded “thousands of files of child pornography, including the sexual assaults of children between six-and-eight years old,” according to the US attorney’s office statement.
“It is alleged that St. George has been receiving and downloading child pornography from the ‘Dark Web’ and taking steps to conceal his identity,” prosecutors said.
According to an affidavit of a special agent with Homeland Security investigations, St. George admitted to law enforcement agents “that he had a large collection of child pornography in his home.”
A three-ring binder containing images of child pornography was found at St. George’s home, according to the affidavit. St. George, according to the affidavit, told authorities he “is employed by both the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.”
According to the affidavit, St. George “has occasionally posted articles to the Boston Philharmonic blog, including reflections on time he spent observing the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (BPYO) while on tour.”
St. George denied “engaging in any sexual contact with children and denied any sexual interest in children apart from looking at child pornography,” according to the affidavit.
No attorney was listed for St. George in the affidavit.
The charge of receipt of child pornography provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 20 years in prison, and possession of child pornography carries a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, authorities said.
Both counts carry a minimum of five years supervised release up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, according to prosecutors.