The Real ‘Rape Culture’: U.S. Universities Hotbeds for Child Rape, Trafficking
By Dr. Lori Handrahan – BarbWire guest contributor
In 1990, American University’s president, Richard Berendzen, was calling day cares seeking sex with children when he contacted Susan Eva Allen; a mother operating a home-based day care whose husband was a detective with Fairfax County Police Department. A search warrant was obtained.
Susan Allen recorded more than 30 hours of conversation with Berendzen. He asked Susan Allen if “she and her husband included their children in sex” and begged to have sex with Susan Allen’s children. He told her he masturbated while talking with her and offered to procure a child for her to use as a “sex slave.”
He “described going to sex slave auctions in Chicago and Detroit,” bragged about his abuse of children, his child porn collection, the four year old girl who was his “sex slave” and strapping his wife to a wheel in their basement.
Professor Berendzen never spent a day in jail nor has he yet been investigated for child sex crimes.
In what appears to be clear obstruction of justice, American University protected Berendzen, his career and financial security.
Conspiracy to commit child rape and possession of child pornography are not “administrative” issues. These are criminal matters and must be prosecuted as such. There is no statute on limitation for child sex abuse crimes at the federal level. Professor Berendzen could still be and should be investigation.
The Personal is Political
This is personal for me. I was wrongly terminated from my position as a professor at American University when my publications calling for an end to impunity for child porn related crimes started gaining attention.
Articles like Enable the Fight Against Child Porn, To Catch Government Workers With Ties to Child Porn, Call the IRS, or Executive Branch Porn Problem and television interviews like Impunity for US Government Workers Using Child Porn always seemed to provoke a negative reaction from the president’s office. My dean was told none of my publications about ending impunity for child porn would be posted on the school’s website. The president’s office told American University’s media department not to “pitch” me for media interviews.
At the time, I was solely focused on US government employees involved in the illegal trade of child sex abuse images and videos, otherwise known as child pornography. I did not know about American University’s own history of protecting professors who were accused of committing crimes against children. After my contract was terminated, a colleague met me for lunch, off campus, and told me about Richard Berendzen.
Professors, University Staff and Child Porn
In my last article, Day Cares, Preschools, Baby-Sitters & Pedosadism, I explored recent arrests for child porn in day cares. Berendzen was calling day cares, for at least a year, seeking to both procure and offer children for sex abuse. I wondered if day cares were a known source supply for pedosadists like Professor Berendzen.
Professor Berendzen’s criminal activity also caused me to wonder how many other professors were involved in the trade of child sex abuse. Until American University, suddenly and without cause, terminated me, it had never occurred to me that my own colleagues, fellow professors, would be returning to their campus offices after teaching students and masturbating to the brutal rape and torture of small children from their campus computers.
Call me naive. I was.
I was horrified and deeply saddened the first time I did a simple Google search for “professor arrested child porn.” Unfortunately, it appears, trading in the illegal child porn industry is something far too many professors and university staff are involved in, often, on college and university campuses across America.
Search Method and Data Problems
As with my other articles, because both the US government and law enforcement is either not collecting and/or not releasing comprehensive information about child porn arrests and prosecutions, I have used simple Google and Twitter searches to locate public media reports of professors and staff arrested on child porn charges. When I could easily locate original court documents, I supplemented the media reports; however, often the court documents are sealed or otherwise not easily accessible. At times, I called local police departments or prosecutors requesting, but not always receiving, follow-up information.
The reports I share here are, by no means, a complete account of professors and staff arrested for child porn. These are, simply, what appears to be a very small representative sample. A snap-shot in time. This provide a sense of the scale of child porn use among professors and staff. I use the terms college and university interchangeably, for simplicity sake.
Many university and college students are also being arrested on trading child sex abuse charges. Arrest of students for child pornography will be detailed in a separate posting.
University & College Professors
• Michael Morris, a 50 year old Assistant Dean at the McIntire School of Commerce at University of Virginia (UVA) and father of two teenage daughters, was arrested and charged, 6 November 2013, on child porn charges.
Morris, whose on-line screen name was “funshooter2006,” was an “ultimate” account member of Gigatribe, a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing program, that he used to trade in “pre-teen hard core” (PTHC), which is the brutal torture of children under 12 years old. At the time of his arrest, Morris possessed some 4,000 images/videos of child sex abuse including the abuse of toddlers. He had been trading in child sex abuse for 15 years.
Morris was indicted on two counts of distributing or receiving child porn and one count of possessing child porn and plead guilty to all three charges on 21 April 2014. He was held in custody from the time of his arrest until
he was sentenced, 14 July 2014, to 8.8 years in federal jail and 20 years supervised release.
For the past five years Morris had been pretending to be a teenage boy or girl, on-line, and getting 14 to 16 year old girls to perform sex acts for him live-streamed via web cameras. He said he did this about once a month.
In a period of a few months, while he was under investigation, he accessed, more than 192 times, child sex abuse from both his home and UVA computer on campus. UVA immediately suspended Morris pending the investigation and he later resigned his position.
Morris received his doctorate in management information systems from Indiana University, master’s degree from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University.
• Alan Clyde More, a professor at George Mason University, was arrested and charged, 3 October 2014, with ten felony counts of child porn possession. He was trading in child sex abuse from university computers.
Alan More is, allegedly, a retired CIA employee; however, this allegation is yet confirmed. His employment with George Mason was, apparently, terminated upon his arrest. When he was a professor at George Mason he taught Introduction to The Intelligence Community.
• Gary Spring, a 61 year old professor and Chair of the Civil Engineering Department at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, was arrested, 19 September 2014, and charged with one count child porn possession. He is currently free on $30,000 bail pending his sentencing. His next court date is scheduled for 24 March 2015.
Spring had been using his university and home computers to trade in child sex abuse. Spring was caught when Merrimack information technology (IT) staff notified campus security of Spring’s crimes on campus. In addition to his role as a professor, Spring was an administrator for a residential children’s summer camp at Merrimack College.
Merrimack College has terminated his employment.
• Christopher Haynes, a 64 year old retired geography professor at Humboldt State University, was arrested, 29 August 2014, and charged with four child pornography counts. He was sentenced, 24 February 2015, to 90 days in jail and three years probation.
In a deal, Haynes plead guilty to one count of possessing child pornography and the other three charges were dismissed.
Upon his arrest, Haynes possessed “thousands” of child sex abuse images/videos. He was caught when a local web-hosting company noticed child porn on their servers and contacted Homeland Security with Haynes’ IP address. Haynes was still teaching at Humboldt at the time of his arrest and the university released a statement saying, “Humboldt State University police have been assisting the Department of Homeland Security and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office with an investigation of Christopher Haynes, who was arrested today on charges related to child pornography.” Haynes had won California Geographic Society’s annual “Outstanding Educator” award. His bail was set at $100,000 which he posted within hours and was free pending sentencing.
• William Merrill, a 58 year old professor who specialized in internet censorship at Central Michigan University (CMU), was arrested, November 2012, and charged with a four felony counts including possession of sexually abusive material, distributing/promoting child sexually abusive activity and using a computer to commit a crime. In a deal, Merrill plead guilty to one count of receiving child porn and prosecutors dropped the other charges. He was sentenced, 24 July 2013, to 5.8 years in jail. Upon his arrest, investigators found more than 6,000 images/videos of child sex abuse on Merrill’s university computer depicting extreme violence against children. In total, at home and work, Merrill had “more than 100,000 images and 1,600 videos involving bondage, bestiality and children in noticeable anguish.” Merrill was caught when university information technology (IT) staff noticed a large data download and triggered an investigation.
• Micah Maurio, a 28 year old part-time music professor at the University of Southern Maine (USM), was arrested, 5 December 2014, and charged with dissemination of sexually explicit material of someone under the age of 12.
USM suspended Maurio, without pay, “pending a decision on his continued employment with the University of Southern Maine.” Upon his arrest he had “hundreds of images of child pornography.” Maurio was released on personal recognizance and is free pending sentencing. The State of Maine dismissed all charges on 24 February 2015; however, charges are slated to be re-instated and brought before a grand jury within the next 90 days.
There have been other reports of child sex abuse by University of Maine professors. In 2001, Senior Child Protection staffer Cynthia Wellman claimed University of Maine professors were sexually abusing children, along with Child Protection Staff, on campus. The State of Maine has refused to open a criminal investigation.
• Larry Gene Peppers, a 67 year old retired sociology professor from Clemson University, was arrested, 12 February 2015, and charged with two felony counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and four felony counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He was released on $60,000 surety bond. His next court date is 29 May 2015.
• Kirk Nesset, a 57 year old award-winning, creative writing professor at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, was arrested and charged, 1 October 2014 with one count each of child porn distribution, receipt and possession. Upon his arrest he had over 500,000 videos/images of child sex abuse and thirty folders with titles like “kidsfuck.”
He was indicted, 14 October 2014, on all three counts. On 9 February 2015 he filed a motion asking for another continuance which was granted. Nesset remains free on $10,000 bond. The court has allowed him to travel to Arizona since his arrest.
Nesset was caught by an undercover federal agent in on-line child sex abuse trading sites. He had been trading in child sex abuse since at least 2005.
Nesset resigned from Allegheny College, 2 October 2014, where he had been a full professor at Allegheny since 2009. He earned his doctorate at University of California, Santa Barbara and had won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize in 2007.
Allegheny College cancelled all classes and offered grief counseling to the student body and staff upon news of Nesset’s arrest.
• Travis Brown, a 45 year old assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Arkansas, was sentenced, 14 October 2014, to five years in jail on child porn charges. He had arrested 6 February 2014 and charged with four counts of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession. In a deal, Brown plead guilty to one count of receipt of child porn in exchange for all other charges dropped.
Upon his arrest investigator found some 629 images of children, ages 10–12 years old, being sexually abused. The university terminated his employment on 10 February 2014. Brown’s investigation was triggered by a “tip” to the state police. Pending his sentencing, Brown was under house arrest, $5,000 signature bond, and his father’s custody.
• Gary Farlow, a physics professor at Wright State University (WSU), was arrested and charged, 25 September 2014, with one count of child porn possession which he plead guilty to on 22 December 2014. His sentencing hearing is set for 30 April 2015. He remains free on personal recognizance pending sentencing. Farlow possessed in excess of 400 images of child sex abuse of which 194 were known images from famous child sex abuse series shared on the internet. Wright State information technology (IT) staff discovered child porn on Farlow’s computer when he took his laptop to the IT department for servicing. WSU Police opened an investigation and found more child porn on his university desktop computer. Farlow was placed on paid suspension by Wright State University.
• James Uphoff, a 76 year old retired early childhood education professor also from Wright State University, was arrested, August 2013, on child porn charges. In October 2013 Uphoff, in a deal, plead guilty to one count of child porn possession and was sentenced, 10 September 2014, to 1.2 years in federal prison. He had been trading in child sex abuse for at least a decade. While he was out on bail, pending sentencing, he was caught, again, with child porn. No new charges were brought.
Upon his first arrest, investigators found 500 images and two videos of child sex abuse, including children in bondage, on Uphoff’s computers.
Uphoff was caught when he left child sex abuse images on a university printer/copier which was discovered and reported to university police. This triggered a search of Uphoff’s university computer and his home. Uphoff had cultivated a reputation as a leading expert on early childhood education. He also volunteered for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Montgomery County Juvenile Court and served as Ohio’s Education Association Union President and president of the Oakwood School Board.
• Richard Pokryfka, a 70 year old professor emeritus at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, was arrested, 12 June 2013, and charged with three counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one count third-degree child exploitation. Pokryfka had been trading in child sex abuse images/videos of children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. He was caught when he sent an undercover Homeland Security agent child sex abuse images. Originally held on $100,000 bond, he was indicated on 13 August 2013 on two counts of distribution and possession of child pornography. In a deal, Pokryfka plead guilty to one count of child porn possession on 24 November 2014. No sentencing date has yet been set. He has remained under house arrest since his arrest. Pokryfka had been a professor at The Citadel since 1975 and is a retired Navy Captain. A Citadel Cadet, Joshua Rumph, has also arrested for child porn.
• Frank Lombard, 43 year old Associate Director of Duke University’s Center for Health Policy, was arrested, 24 June 2009, and charged on child sex abuse related counts. On 17 December 2009 he plead guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor and was sentenced, 29 March 2010, to just over 27 years in federal prison.
Lombard had been drugging, raping and offering for rape his five year adopted son since the child was an infant. He also live-streamed the infant rape. An informant told investigators he witnessed “Lombard molesting an African-American child on four occasions over an Internet video chat.” Lombard had adopted two African-American children that he sexually abused. His internet profile “stated he was interested in “perv fam fun.” Lombard was caught when he invited Washington DC undercover Detective Timothy Palchak to fly to North Carolina and “have sex with” his 5 year old adopted son. Lombard told the undercover investigator that “he had himself molested his child, whom he adopted as an infant, and that he had allowed others to molest his child.” He said “the abuse of the child was easier when the child was too young to talk or know what was happening” and “he drugged the child with Benadryl during the molestation.” Upon his arrest, Duke University placed Lombard on unpaid leave and terminated his employment in July 2009. Lombard had been employed at Duke since 1999. Both children were taken into protective custody.
• Lawrence Scott Ward, 63 year old now former professor emeritus and Chair of the Marketing Department at Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, was arrested, 27 August 2006, for child porn production and distribution.
On 17 May 2007 Ward plead guilty, in Virginia, to producing child pornography for importation into the US and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. On 17 November 2008, in Pennsylvania, Ward pleaded guilty to four counts of child pornography and sexual misconduct and one count of making false statements to a federal official and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Ward was “an esteemed Ivy League professor,” wealthy Fortune 500 consultant and founder of a nonprofit youth outreach program for at-risk youths. He was earning “five-figure paychecks for as little as two days’ work,” drove expensive cars and had homes in Hawaii and Cape Cod. He had been abusing children for decades before he was caught, and finally imprisoned, by a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Inspector at Dulles International Airport. In 1993 Ward had been charged with child sex abuse including “molesting a 13-year-old there as often as 100 times” but after two highly publicized trials, he was only given probation. The University of Pennsylvania allowed to remain employed as a professor and he continued to sexually abuse children until his 2006 arrest.
• Antonio Lasaga, 52 year old now former Geology professor at Yale University, was arrested, 19 December 1998, on charges of sexual assault and child porn possession. He remained free on $50,000 bond until his sentencing, on 15 February 2002, to 15 years in federal prison for two child pornography charges and later sentenced to a concurrent 20 years in state prison for child sex abuse charges.
Among these were videos of Lasaga repeatedly raping a 7 year old boy, often on Yale’s campus.
In 1991 Lasaga volunteered with New Haven, Connecticut’s Board of Education to mentor disadvantaged youth. He sexually abused the child he “mentored” and produced child porn of the abuse over a five year period.
Prior to this arrest, there were at least four reports of Lasaga molesting young children at swimming pools. In 1981, when Lasaga was a professor at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), he had been charged by Penn State College police with inappropriately touching two boys, 9 and 11 years old at a local pool. The charges were dropped. Shortly after this incident Lasaga left his position as a professor at Penn State, where he had been since 1977, and moved to Yale University’s Department of Geology and Geophysics.
In 1986 Lasaga was accused of touching children at a YMCA pool in Hamden, Connecticut. Five years later, at the same pool, another parent complained Lasaga had molested her son. On 23 October 1998, a Yale graduate student notified Yale staff that Lasaga was downloading child sex abuse images/videos on Yale computers. Yale campus police were notified and they, in turn, contacted the FBI. A search warrant was issued and Lasaga’s child sex abuse collection was seized. Despite his crimes, Yale University retained Lasaga, apparently on full salary, for nearly three years after his 1998 arrest until March 2001 when Lasaga’s tenure was finally revoked and his employment at Yale was terminated.
• Yaron Segal, now deceased, was a 30 year old post-doctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), when he was arrested, 28 March 2012, and charged with two charges of traveling to engage in sex with minors and one charge of using the mail to persuade, induce, entice and coerce a minor to have sex. Segal was being held without bail awaiting sentencing when he was found dead, of an apparent suicide, in prison on 13 April 2012. Subsequently, all charges were dropped.
Segal had met, in an on-line chat room, a mother offering her 12 and 16 year old daughters for sex. The mother was an undercover agent.
Segal sent the undercover agent links to “a strap-on dildo and vibrator and indicated the children he wanted to buy them for.” In a phone conversation with “the mother” Segal said he was bringing “a dildo, small vibrator for the youngest child.” Department of Homeland Security agents arrested Segal when he landed in Colorado thinking he was meeting the mother who had offered her children for sex abuse.
Segal received his Ph.D. from Yale University in applied physics in 2011. MIT Assistant Professor Tonio Buonassisi said, to MIT’s News Office, Segal was “well-respected among his peers as a brilliant, creative, and dedicated scientist.”
• Taj Mahon-Haft, a 34 year old assistant professor in criminal justice at Radford University, was arrested twice in March 2013 on child porn related charges. He used his university computer to trade in child sex abuse images/videos.
Mahon-Haft plead guilty to 50 counts of child pornography possession and, in a deal, another 50 counts of child porn possession, nine counts of production of child porn and one count of assaulting a police officer were dropped. He was sentenced, 19 December 2013, to 100 years in prison with 85 years suspended resulting in a 15 years prison sentence and is now a registered sex offender. He had been released on $10,000 bond after his first two arrests but with his third arrest he was held without bond. Mahon-Haft had continued to download child porn while he was on bond for the pending the other charges. Mahon-Haft had been first arrested for drug possession. Investigators had seized his home computer during the drug investigation and discovered some 10,000 child sex abuse images/videos, including of his own ten year son who lives in Washington State with Mahon-Haft’s former wife and the child’s mother. Mahon-Haft was engaged to an assistant professor of photography at Radford University, Leah Gose, at the time of his arrest. She has since left Radford University and is now a professor at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. Mahon-Haft was an instructor at Washington State University (WSU) before joining Radford University. His Ph.D. is from WSU and he had earned the Joseph DeMartini Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010. Mahon-Haft’s employment with Radford University ceased on 12 April 2013.
• Neil Mason Williams, a 60 year old University of Kentucky professor who was Associate Director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, was arrested, 5 March 2014, and charged with child possession. He plead guilty and was sentenced, 11 March 2015, to more than five years in federal prison. Williams was trading in child sex abuse on his university computer. He had downloaded “thousands” of child sex abuse images/videos. Williams had been employed with the university since 1987. Upon his arrest, the university suspended him with pay. Williams, and his wife Deborah who also works at the University of Kentucky, had been honored by Mississippi State University Alumni Association. Williams had been released to the custody of his wife pending trial.
• Donald Ratcliff, a 61 year old Christian education professor who specialized in child psychology at Wheaton College, was arrested, 1 March 2012, and plead guilty, 5 August 2013, to one count of child pornography. As part of a plea agreement, an additional nine felony counts, including six of aggravated child pornography, were dropped. He was sentenced, 26 February 2014, to 3.5 years in prison.
Upon his arrest, Ratcliff had at least 500 images/videos of child sex abuse and rape, including images/videos of children as young as three years old. He told investigators he watched these and masturbated. He saw his criminal behavior as “moral” and claimed “research in Europe determined viewing such images was a way to avoid becoming a pedophile.” Upon his arrest he was held in custody on $750,000. His wife issued a statement saying “My children and I have felt strongly from the moment of Don’s arrest that he needs to remain in the DuPage County Jail. We have not nor will we assist in any fashion in his release. We are devastated by the allegations against him. We fear for his safety as well as our own should he be released.” Ratcliff’s bail was later reduced to $300,000 and he remained free on bail pending his sentencing. Upon his arrest Wheaton College placed Ratcliff on administrative leave and, two weeks later, terminated Ratcliff’s employment on 14 March 2012. Wheaton College is a Christian institution and the alma mater of famed evangelist Billy Graham. Ratcliff had been a professor at Wheaton since 2006 and was the author of ten books on children’s spirituality. His wife filed for divorce.
• Joseph Benz, a 52 year old award-winning psychology professor at the University of Nebraska, was arrested, 22 May 2013, and charged, at the state level, with three counts each of child porn possession and distribution. His state charges were dismissed on 7 October 2013 and he was indicted, 25 September 2013, at the federal level on two counts of receiving and distributing child pornography. Upon his arrest, Benz possessed more than 20,000 images/videos of child sex abuse. His federal trial data is currently set for 27 April 2015. Benz has been free on $10,000 bail since his arrest. Elements of Benz’s case have been sealed by the court.
The university placed him on paid administrative leave, 27 June 2013, relieved of his teaching duties and ordered not to have contact with students. He has been developing a distance-learning course using a university IPad for the University during this paid administrative leave.
The University of Nebraska released the following statement “Until charges against the faculty member can be processed through the judicial system, it isn’t appropriate to speculate on an outcome or personnel status. Dr. Benz is being relieved of his obligation to finish teaching his summer class. This matter is very concerning and the university is obviously cooperating fully in the investigation… We will wait for any outcome in the courts before making any personnel decisions.”
Benz had been active with the Boy Scouts. Two days after his arrest, the Boys Scouts of America suspended Benz and permanently removed him from all current and future association. His membership and all of his privileges were revoked and he was placed on the Boy Scouts’ ineligible volunteer list. Benz earned his undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2006, he won the Pratt-Heins teaching award, was named honors teacher in 1994 won the Creative Teaching Award five times. He has taught at University of Nebraska since 1989.
• Christopher DeZutter, a chemistry professor at the University of Minnesota, was arrested, 5 February 2015, and charged with ten possession and one distribution child pornography counts. His next court date is 5 May 2015 and he remains free on conditional release that did not include monetary surety.
DeZutter told investigators he had been trading in child sex abuse images/videos since 1996. Examination of DeZutter’s electronics is still ongoing; however, investigators confirm his University of Minnesota laptop was “full” of child sex abuse files. Investigators said DeZutter told them, upon his arrest, “You are not going find a lot of this at home. I do most of this at the office.”
The university barred DeZutter from campus and temporarily relieved him of his teaching duties.
DeZutter received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010 and his undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001.
• Walter Lee Williams, a 66 year old professor of Anthropology, History, and Gender Studies, at the University of Southern California (USC), was arrested, June 2013, and charged with the sexual exploitation of children and child porn possession and production. Williams plead guilty, September 2014, to one federal count of engaging in illicit sexual contact in foreign places. He was sentenced, December 2014, to five years in federal prison. Williams had also been traveling to the Philippines to engage in sex abuse of children and produce child porn. He was a member of the Buddhist Universal Association. His doctorate, in history and anthropology, is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published ten books and taught American Indian Studies.
• Robert Thaler, a 71 year old sociology professor Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU), was arrested and charged, June 2013, with nine counts of possession of child sexually abusive material. Students were, reportedly, shocked. He was trading in child sex abuse on his university computer.
In a deal, Thaler plead guilty and, in exchange for his plea, he will not serve any jail time. He was sentenced, 24 February 2014, to five years probation. Thaler had been free on $18,000 bond pending sentencing.
• Grant Smith, a 50 year old professor of material science and engineering at University of Utah, was arrested, November 2011, on child porn charges. Images included the sex abuse of girls between five and ten years old. Prosecutors said “these were explicitly sexual and extremely disturbing.”
Grant was sentenced, April 2013, to five years probation with no jail time. He was caught watching child porn in first class on a cross-country flight. The University of Utah placed him on administrative leave upon his arrest. He later resigned, 31 January 2012, his position. Grant had originally been held on $75,000 bail.
• Vance Fulkerson, a 63 year old theater professor at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), was arrested, July 2009, on charges of sexually exploiting children and unlawful sexual contact. Upon his arrest, investigators seized some 150 DVDs of child sex abuse from Fulkeron’s home. In a plea deal, 16 counts, including six felony counts of sexual exploitation and nine misdemeanors, were dropped. Fulkerson was then sentenced, March 2010, to four years in prison.
Students and alumni “expressed outrage when Fulkerson received only a four-year prison sentence. He faced a maximum of 12 years in jail.” He was released, one year early, in 2013 and is a registered sex offender. Fulkerson had hidden a camera in his bathroom, which a former student discovered and reported. He possessed child sex abuse images of boys as young as five years old. Fulkerson resigned, upon his arrest, after 18 years with the university. The university had granted Fulkerson tenure despite a long history of reports by students of sexually in appropriate behavior.
• Kevin Fuller, a 43 year old microbiology professor at Columbia College, was arrested, 19 November 2009, on charges of child porn possession and distribution which included the violent abuse of infants.
Fuller plead guilty and was sentenced, 9 February 2011, to six years in prison and a life-time of supervised release. He had been using his college computer and email to trade in child sex abuse.
At the time of his arrest, Fuller had more than 300 pictures of child sex abuse on his computer.
Fuller’s doctorate is from the University of Chicago, 1994, in molecular genetics and cell biology and he had been chair of the Columbia College Council.
• Faiz Al-Khayyal, a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, was arrested, August 2009, and convicted, 6 February 2014, on 76 counts of sexual exploitation of children and he was indicted on 201 counts of sexual exploitation of children. Despite this conviction and 201 count indictment, Al-Khayyal was only sentenced, 30 June 2014, to 10 years probation with no jail time. He is a registered sex offender.
Al-Khayyal was caught, 5 August 2009, at the airport with child sex abuse on his laptop upon his return to Georgia, after a trip to China. He had been trading in sex abuse and rape of children on his university computer.
University authorities, originally, discovered child sex abuse images/videos on his work computer and contacted Georgia’s Attorney General who notified law enforcement. His bond had been set at $250,000 which he posted in three days and was free pending sentencing. The university immediately suspended Al-Khayyal without pay upon detecting child porn on his university computer.
• Benjamin Levin, 63 year old “celebrated professor” at University of Toronto and former Deputy Minister of Education in Canada, was charged with sixty-one counts of producing and distributing child porn. In a deal, he plead guilty to three counts in exchange for having all other charges dropped. Levin said, in on-line chats, he was interested in “normalizing the subject of sexual touching of children.”
Levin said “he wished he had a son but he’d nonetheless sexually abused a couple of boys as well as his own girls.” Levin “hoped his daughters would ‘share’ their own children (his grandchildren) with him.”
He “further expressed his desire to have sexual intercourse with the three kids his chat-pal pretended to have and then introduced the woman, in cyberspace, to another person who apparently had sexual interest in children and, once all nicely interconnected, they discussed the sexual abuse of kids.”
Levin told one on-line mother, in reality an undercover investigator, he would “to “f — — all 3 (of her children) in front of you with your help … would they submit or would I need to tie them?” Although Levin is Canadian, and I’m documenting American arrests, given his statue within the North American education community and the scope of his crimes, his case must be mentioned. Levin is due to be sentencing 13 April 2015 and is out free, left under “the supervision” of his wife.
• Diane Ross, a 45 year old Chair of the English Department at Lake Forest College, was arrested, May 2000, and charged with three felony counts of dissemination of child pornography. She was indicted, July 2000, on 13 counts of sending child porn which included young girls and adults involved in sexual intercourse, oral sex and masturbation. Ross plead guilty and was sentenced, October 2000, to two years probation, with no jail time. Ross was caught when members of her “child porn ring” came under investigation in California. Ross received her undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees from Yale University. She is the mother of two children and was a local Girl Scout troop leader.
• Edward Bryan Roberts, a 54 year old physics professor at Winona State University, was charged, 12 November 2014, with eight felony child pornography counts. He was using his university computer to trade in child rape and torture, aka child pornography. Investigators found at least 30 videos on Roberts’ computer that showed children, many of whom were determined to be between the ages of 4 and 7 years old and were forcibly engaged in various sexual acts with adult males.” The university immediately placed Roberts on paid administrative leave, banned him from the classroom and then did not renew his contract.
Swiatek plead guilty and was sentenced, 4 March 2013, to four years in prison. Swiatek used his university computer to trade in child rape and torture.
Community College, was arrested, April 2013, and charged with 12 counts of child exploitation for trade in child pornography. He was also a volunteer at Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, mentoring young children. His online handle was “Mr. Silk 77″ and he was discovered by law enforcement on internet sites motherless.com and others sites called jailbait and incest. He was originally held at the Wake County Detention Center on $900,000 bond pending sentencing. He was sentenced, 1 June 2014, to probation only. He is a registered sex offender.
University & College Staff
• David Linnehan, a 39 year old information technology (IT) staff at Springfield College, was arrested, 1 April 2013, and charged with 11 counts of child porn possession, 13 counts of unauthorized access to a computer system, eight counts of distributing material showing a child in the nude, two counts of posing a child in the nude and single counts of possessing a firearm without a firearm identification card, improper storage of a firearm and attempting to commit a crime. Linnehan was indicted, 16 January 2014, on 37 counts. He plead guilty, 3 February 2015, to more than 30 charges. Linnehan had been free on $25,000 bail since his arrest. He was sentenced, 24 February 2015, to 8–10 years in prison.
In addition to possessing more than one million videos/images of child sex abuse, Linnehan also illegally access student computers and email accounts and stole private photographs.
Linnehan was caught when Amanda Lambert, a mother in California, was caught producing and distributing child sex abuse images/videos of her own children. Amanda Lambert pleaded guilty 6 October 2014 to sexual exploitation of a child and distributing child pornography and was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison. Linnehan had been trading child sex abuse images with Lambert, including those of Lambert’s own 4 and 6 year old daughters. An anonymous tip notified law enforcement that Lambert was distributing sexually explicit photographs of her children.
Springfield College placed David Linnehan on administrative leave on 2 April 2013, the day after his arrest. His employment with Springfield College was terminated on 5 April 2013, immediately following his arrest. Linnehan is the father of a 4 year old son.
• Stephen Jenson, a 36 year old University of Michigan pediatric oncologist medical resident was arrested, January 2011, by university police and charged with receiving and possessing child porn. He was sentenced, 21 March 2013, to three years in federal prison. Jenson was trading in child sex abuse from a university computer. He was caught when he left a USB thumb drive plugged into a computer in the Pediatric Emergency Department. Another resident discovered child sex abuse on the drive and reported to her supervisory. University of Michigan’s legal office told the female reporting resident her “concerns” were “unfounded” and refused to report the crime to law enforcement. Six months later, the incident was “re-reported” and university police were finally notified. Mary Sue Coleman, University of Michigan President, called the way Jensen’s case was handled a “serious failure on the part of the institution” and ordered an independent review and a re-organization of university procedures.
• Daniel Shaw, 47 year old information technology (IT) staff for Purdue University, was arrested, 23 September 2014, and charged with two felony counts of possession of child pornography and a felony count of child exploitation.
He had been trading in videos/images of children in “nude or in states of undress in sexually suggestive poses, engaged in sexual activity or being subjected to sadomasochistic sexual abuse.” He was released on $500 cash bond plus $5,000 surety with a jury trial set for 6 January 2015. He had been employed at Purdue since 2009. The university said he had left his position, upon his arrest, for “personnel reasons.”
• Steven Germinder, a 58 year old University of Michigan Hospital employee in the finance department, was arrested on child porn charges and indicted, 11 March 2015, on one count each of child porn distribution, receipt and possession. Germinder had been trading in child sex abuse, including bestiality, from his university computers. A university security officer alerted university police of Germinder’s activity. Upon his arrest, investigators seized some 64 DVDs from his home. An initial forensic exam detailed 20,000 images “which represented only a small portion of the image files.” An estimated 3,000 were of child sex abuse. A 12 page long spreadsheet listed the child sex abuse he was trading. Germinder remains in custody pending trial, records show. The university terminated Germinder’s employment.
• Jeffrey Shira, a 60 year old Information Technology (IT) employee with Ohio University, was arrested, 18 February 2015, and charged with ten counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor. He was being held in Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond. Investigators seized a “large amount of child pornography” from his home. Shira was caught when he mistakenly left two flash drives containing child sex abuse images/videos in a donation he gave to a local church. Upon his arrest, Ohio University placed Shira on paid administrative leave.
• Charles Hitlin, 42 year Head of Information Technology (IT) at
University of North Carolina (UNC) was arrested, 18 February 2013, and charged with 47 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He was previously arrested, 19 December 2012, and charged with charged with two counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
Hitlin was caught interacting, from his university computer, on a child sex abuse trading site (chat.motherless.com) with an undercover agent; Detective Mike Deaton who alerted university authorities.
Amy Hitlin, Charles’ wife, was a Senior Assistant Director of University Career Services for UNC’ School of Public Health. In the on-line chats with the undercover detective, she “alluded to sexual acts and intercourse with minors,” said she “liked to have sexual relations with 10 or more individuals at a time, including “neighbors and coworkers” and said her husband, who was an IT manager on campus, “watched the interactions.” She also said “sometimes the neighborhood kids would come over to have sex… a 15-year-old boy brought his 12-year-old brother.”
Are universities and colleges “protecting the institution” and not the children being brutally sexually abused, raped and tortured? As American University sought to hide Richard Berendzen’s crimes against children, other universities and colleges appear to be ignoring and/or hiding child sex abuse crimes by their employees occurring on campus.
Institutions are made up of people. Institutions are not “protected” when senior officials seek to shield criminals within these institutions. Institutions that protect criminals are corrupt institutions. Protecting child rapists, and those who trade in the criminal enterprise of child rape, cripples institutions. It does not protect them.
Ask the Catholic Church.
No more silence. No more “institutional” protection by universities and colleges for those who trade in child rape. No child pornography should ever be traded on university and college campuses.
Demand an end to child pornography on university and college campuses.
Dr. Lori Handrahan’s forthcoming book Child Porn Nation: America’s Hidden National Security Risk details America’s child sex abuse epidemic. Her Ph.D. is from The London School of Economics. She can be reached on Twitter @LoriHandrahan2
Top 6 on BarbWire.com
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.