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CMU Professor Charged with Child Porn

On Thursday, the Central Michigan University reported on its website “A Central Michigan University faculty member has been suspended from all duties and placed on leave pending the results of an investigation by law enforcement authorities. The university is cooperating fully with legal authorities, including the Isabella County prosecuting attorney.” Without any further mention of the incident, except the assurance, “CMU Police have assured university leaders there is nothing to suggest anyone on campus is in any danger. More information will be provided as soon as possible without jeopardizing the investigation or violating individual rights.”

However, it has been learned that William Merrill, who teaches instructional technology and early and middle childhood mathematics methods, and whose research includes censorship and the Internet was arrested and charged on four counts of possessing child pornography on his work computer.

Merrill is a tenured member of CMU’s College of Education and Human Services. Some employees found the child porn on the faculty member’s university computer and alerted the authorities on Monday morning. On Monday afternoon, the CMU suspended Merrill.

In an earlier news release Sherry Knight, interim associate vice president of university communications said, “We take this matter very seriously and have strict policies against this kind of conduct. Public safety is an absolute priority at CMU … From the astute employees who discovered and reported the materials immediately to the police who acted swiftly and continue to investigate this matter, our goal is to ensure the safety of our campus community and beyond.”

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Though Merrill has been suspended and charged, it is too early to draw any conclusions without completion of investigation and trial, as his work did include topics like internet censorship, though the actual downloading such stuff by a person researching on censorship, is definitely shocking.

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