Accused child porn camp counselor out on bond

- A camp counselor accused of perverse and disturbing crimes involving young campers is once again a free man. Matthew Kuppe made news this summer when investigators found he had taken naked pictures of boys in the locker room and possibly even touched some of those children. On Tuesday he was granted bond.

Kuppe had been locked up for months, but in a move that confused parents and shocked neighbors, a judge gave him a $10,000 unsecured bond and he's no longer behind bars.

Now he's back at home in West Bloomfield just in time for the holidays with his parents, one of whom came to the door when FOX 2 visited but refused to answer it.

The 21-year-old is accused of producing child porn, but if you think the judge was off base for cutting him loose, FOX 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton says think again.

"The judge did not screw this up at all," Langton says. "The judge basically said you are innocent until proven guilty. We're going to put a lot of restrictions on you but you're out."

As part of his bond, Kuppe cannot, among other things, have any contact with children, watch pornography or use the Internet. He can't go within a hundred yards of a school or where children congregate. Interesting, considering there's an elementary school two-tenths of a mile away from his house.

"There are a lot of restrictions on this guy," Langton says. "I mean, he can barely go to the bathroom the wrong way and he'll be back in jail.

Federal investigators say Kuppe took sexually explicit pictures of young boys at the Jewish Community Center where he worked and then posted them on a Russian child porn website online.

Four psychological assessments were presented in court, while three recommended Kuppe be released. Prosecutors said one stated the 21-year-old is at a high risk of re-offending.

"Well it's hard to know and you can't always predict behavior," says Dr. Gerald Sheiner. "But there are some instruments we use to measure." Sheiner is a clinical psychiatrist.

"When it comes to sexually motivated crimes there is usually a high possibility that someone will offend again," he says. "But once they're under scrutiny and if they're on tether, if they're watched, if they're released to the custody of their parents in the case of a young person, there's a better case for controlling them."

Neighbors however, will have a hard time buying that one.

FOX 2 spoke to a couple of them. They did not want to talk for on-camera interviews, but both were unnerved when they learned a judge allowed Kuppe to go home.

He could spend 20 years behind bars if convicted on the three child porn charges.

UPDATE: A message was released by Leslie Pardo, of the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit:

"We remain committed to the safety and welfare of our families and program participants. We will continue to cooperate with authorities in this matter and we will leave it to the court and prosecutor to manage this case in accordance with appropriate judicial procedures."
 

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