November 8, 2013
The FBI has arrested an Associate Dean at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, and charged him with distributing child pornography.
According to FBI records Michael G. Morris is accused of sharing pornographic videos through an internet peer-to-peer.
FBI agents say they downloaded more than 17 child pornography videos directly from Morris' internet address.
“I think there is going to be a lot of confusion about how he got caught and how did the FBI know that this wasn’t an accident,” says Camille Cooper, Director of Legal Affairs for PROTECT. “Did he just go on Google and accidentally click on a link, and I can tell you unequivocally no.”
PROTECT is a national association that strives to protect children against crime and Cooper says Morris’ arrest was no accident.
“You have to deliberately and intentionally use that software,” says Cooper. “You have to use pedophile or child pornography specific search terms to find that material.”
“In these types of cases they're not going to go after people who are looking at 17 and 16-year-old girls,” says Cooper. “They are looking for people who are downloading and distributing graphic hardcore videos of children under the age of 12.”
The University of Virginia responded to the investigation by saying quote:
“The University is cooperating fully with the on-going investigation and has suspended the professor pending completion of the investigation."
Cooper says that people often ask what the warning signs in these types of cases are.
“How will I know if someone my child has access to is a predator and I say you won't because they look just like everyone else.”
According to court records, Morris' preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 18 at the federal court in Harrisonburg.