A former assistant professor at Harvard Medical School had his medical license revoked last Wednesday for downloading large quantities of child pornography in 2000.
Dr. Howard L. Kantor, who worked as a doctor at the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), had saved the images onto the hospital’s computer system
According to court records, many of the photographs were of “female children obviously under the age of 18-years-old posing nude” and involved in sexual acts.
On Sept. 29, 2000, MGH computer experts noticed system performance problems and discovered that 8,654 files—15 gigabytes of pornography—were downloaded onto Kantor’s computer.
“He almost crashed the system,” said Claudette A. Houle, external relations manager at the Massachusetts Medical Board.
A spokesperson for MGH did not return phone calls yesterday.
Other MGH and Harvard officials declined to comment on the case.
Kantor, who now has an unlisted telephone number, could not be reached for comment last night.
Kantor made a voluntary agreement to stop practicing medicine on March 14, 2001. On July 25, 2001, he pleaded guilty to one count of child pornography.
Kantor’s former secretary Mary Reed stated that while he never acted inappropriately in her presence or with his patients, she often noticed pornographic images on Kantor’s computer and stated that he “would quickly turn off the computer monitor in an apparent attempt to conceal the images,” according to the board.
Kantor was required to register with the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry, complete 150 hours of community service and undergo medical treatment.
Kantor had been licensed to practice medicine in Massachusetts since 1985, and he will be able to petition for reinstatement on March 14, 2006.
Kantor graduated from Yale Medical School in 1978 and joined Harvard Medical School in 1985.
This isn’t the first time in recent years that a Harvard affiliate has been disciplined for downloading pornography. Former Dean of the Divinity School Ronald F. Thiemann resigned his deanship in 1998 after thousands of downloaded pornographic images were found on his University-owned computer.