Wash. U. responds to Carroll sentencing
Following the sentencing of former Washington University Dean of Students Justin Carroll to 54 months in prison this past Thursday, the University has reiterated its dismay at the administrator’s actions.
“We were shocked and saddened by the very serious charges brought against Mr. Carroll,” Jill Friedman, vice chancellor for public affairs, said in a statement to Student Life. “He has been found guilty and, now, is being held responsible.”
Prior to the sentencing, Chancellor Mark Wrighton wrote one of the more than 50 pages of letters presented to the federal judge by Carroll’s lawyer, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. That letter, however, did not excuse Carroll’s behavior and only spoke to his professional career at Washington University. The practice of asking for letters characterizing a defendant’s professional life is common, Friedman said; Friedman also explained that the letter should not be construed as a letter of support.
Federal investigators opened a case against Carroll on Dec. 20, 2016 into allegations of child pornography. Carroll was banned from Wash. U.’s campus that day, and then, he officially retired from the University on Feb. 1, 2017, concluding a 36-year career.
Initially, Carroll pled not guilty to the charges of child pornography in February of this year, before reversing to a guilty plea in early July. Carroll admitted to viewing, both at his Washington University office and his own home, at least 15 videos and over 600 images of children engaged in pornographic acts, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Carroll apologized for his actions at the sentencing, saying that he was not a pedophile and that he had been sexually assaulted in his childhood, according to the Post-Dispatch.
“I was spiraling down and seeking solace in the worst possible places and with the worst possible people,” Carroll wrote in a letter to U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel.
Carroll’s prison term is recommended to be served in Seagoville, Texas or, otherwise, as close to St. Louis as possible. Carroll has also been fined $25,000.