Detroit JCC camp counsellor in child porn case negotiating plea deal

(JTA) – A former Jewish community centre camp counsellor charged with creating and distributing child pornography is negotiating a plea deal.

Matthew Kuppe, who was released on bond in November, was scheduled to go on trial this month, but proceedings are on hold, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.

Kuppe, 21, allegedly took photos of naked boys in the locker room of the JCC of Metropolitan Detroit in West Bloomfield, Michigan, and shared them on a Russian website. He worked as a counsellor in the JCC’s day camp for two years, but was fired immediately following his arrest in August. The JCC also dismissed three supervisors who failed to notify senior management after an employee voiced concerns about Kuppe’s conduct.

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Gina Balaya told the Free Press that “the parties are engaged in negotiations,” but provided no other details about the case.

According to documents filed in late December, the trial has been adjourned for at least 60 days because the “parties need additional time to review the evidence and engage in plea documents,” the Free Press reported.

If no deal is reached, a trial will begin April 4. Kuppe faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

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