Ex-CMU professor faces federal child porn charge - WNEM TV 5

Ex-CMU professor faces federal child porn charge

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William Merrill William Merrill
FLINT, MI (AP) -

A university researcher specializing in Internet censorship and the use of children in advertising was charged in federal court with possession of child pornography.

A hearing was held Tuesday in Flint for William Merrill. Defense attorney Dan O'Neil tells The Associated Press that a not guilty plea was entered Tuesday in Flint for William Merrill.

An affidavit filed with the court says more than 5,487 images of child pornography and at least 26 movies "depicting the exploitation of children" were seized from Merrill's home and office at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. The affidavit also said investigators found more than 30 CD discs containing photos and videos.

According to the affidavit, the 58-year-old Merrill told police he "wanted to know if child pornography was as repulsive as he had read about." An IT expert allegedly discovered the pornography when he attempted to fix Merrill's work laptop.

He earlier faced similar charges in Isabella County.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from Merrill's attorney. Merrill resigned from his position at CMU earlier this month. O'Neil says the images on Merrill's computer had no connection to his work at the school.

Merrill currently remains in custody until a detention hearing happens on Wednesday.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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