BREAKING: Dean Justin Carroll indicted on child pornography charges
UPDATE (1:50 p.m.):
Following this morning’s indictment proceedings of Dean of Students Justin Carroll on child pornography charges, Washington University has issued a statement explaining its actions after it initially learned of a federal investigation and any potential misconduct. The statement also notes an ongoing University investigation into the allegations.
“Upon learning of the federal investigation, we initiated our own investigation into any potential risk for the university community,” the statement reads. “At this point, we have no reason to believe that Mr. Carroll had inappropriate interactions with any member of the university community or any participant in the university programs.”
Due to knowledge of a federal investigation, through the issuance of subpoenas and search warrants, the University barred Carroll from campus, University networks and interactions with anyone in the Washington University community on Dec. 20, according to Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Jill Friedman. The University said that it had no knowledge of the specific allegations against Carroll, but because of the nature of the actions taken by federal investigators, felt it necessary to immediately ban Carroll from campus. Carroll announced his retirement on Jan. 5, about two weeks after he had been placed on leave.
The allegations against Carroll have been confirmed by a press release issued by the Department of Justice United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Missouri. The press releases also states that federal investigators labeled Carroll as one member in a group of child pornography sharers by tracing IP addresses to computers at his home and the University.
Friedman also noted that the University will continue to comply with the ongoing federal investigation.
“This is a matter that’s being handled by the U.S. Attorney,” Friedman said. “So our only involvement is to assist.”
Carroll will next appear in court on Feb. 8 for his arraignment, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Dean of Students Justin Carroll has been indicted on federal child pornography charges today, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Carroll, previously announced to be retiring on the first of February, served the University for 36 years. His retirement was previously described to Student Life as for “personal reasons.”
Carroll appeared before a federal judge Monday morning, following a federal investigation into “a group of people sharing child pornography online,” the Post-Dispatch reported. The indictment covers actions taken by Carroll between November 2015 and December 2016, but does not indicate any misdeeds “involving Carroll’s university responsibilities or students,” the Post-Dispatch said.
In his court appearance, Carroll explained that his last official day of work was in December but he had remained on the University’s payroll by using accumulated vacation time, according to the Post-Dispatch. Carroll could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Judge John Bodenhausen set Carroll’s bail at $100,000, and Carroll is expected to be released later today after posting 10 percent of that amount, according to the Post-Dispatch.
Deputy Director of Athletics Chris Peacock will take over Carroll’s duties as interim athletic director, and former Vice Chancellor for Students Karen Coburn, who currently serves as senior consultant in residence, will assume Carroll’s role as associate vice chancellor. Both were announced previous to Carroll’s indictment.
Additional reporting by Noa Yadidi.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.