The FBI has arrested an associate dean at the University of Virginia ’s McIntire School of Commerce on a charge of distributing child pornography.
Michael G. Morris is accused of sharing pornographic videos on an Internet peer-to-peer network, according to federal court records.
FBI agents said they downloaded more than 17 child pornography videos directly from Morris’ Internet address, court records state.
Morris, the associate dean for graduate programs and a professor at the commerce school, has been suspended, UVa spokesman McGregor McCance said Thursday.
“The university is cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation,” McCance said. “Beyond this, the university does not comment on pending criminal or civil litigation or personnel matters.”
Members of the U.S. District Attorney’s office could not be reached for comment Thursday.
FBI investigators accessed the videos from Morris’ computer in January and March, an affidavit states. The Internet address from which the videos were taken was registered to Morris’ Crozet home.
The charges are based on three of the downloaded videos, which agents said depicted various sexual acts between girls and men. In two videos, the girl is estimated to be about 8 years old; in the third, the girl is estimated to be between 12 and 14, according to records.
The affidavit states that Morris accessed the file-sharing service 192 times between Jan. 3 and Oct. 28 from his home computer. He has been a registered user of the service since 2006, according to court records.
He used his UVa email address in making a 2010 online payment to the peer-to-peer network and last year logged into his account from a school IP address, according to the affidavit.
On the UVa McIntire School website, Morris is listed as an expert in information technology, human-computer interactions and decision-making using information technology. He has led student trips to Europe and Asia in each of the past five years.
Morris has a doctorate in management information systems from Indiana University , a master’s degree from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University , according to the site.
He is being held without bond following a Wednesday appearance in federal court, records show.
According to minutes of the hearing, Judge Robert S. Ballou determined there “were no conditions or combination of conditions” to ensure Morris would not be a possible danger to the community or prevent his accessing computers.
Morris is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Nov. 18 in federal court in Harrisonburg , according to court records.