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Emory professor arraigned on child porn charges | News

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Emory professor arraigned on child porn charges
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ATLANTA -- An Emory University professor was arraigned, Wednesday, on child pornography charges in U.S. District Court.

Kevin M. Sullivan, 60, of Atlanta who is still listed on the university’s website as a professor in the epidemiology department, was arraigned on federal charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.

“Sullivan is charged with downloading images that record the sexual abuse of children,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “We remain committed to the primary goal of Project Safe Childhood, which is to protect children by finding and prosecuting those who exploit children through child pornography.”

According to court information, the charges came about in October of 2014 when Swiss law enforcement seized a server that was hosting child pornography. Login information from the server showed that someone at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health was using Emory’s wireless internet to access child pornography.

With cooperation from Emory University’s Information Technology Department, agents were able to determine that Sullivan was the person accessing child pornography from a Swiss website.

Based on this information, agents obtained and then executed a search warrant on June 15 at the defendant’s office.  Sullivan was present when the agents arrived, but left before agents found child pornography on his personal laptop and external hard drive. When agents went to Sullivan’s house later the same day to arrest him, they found him attempting to erase the hard drive from his home desktop computer.

“[Homeland Security Investigations] special agents are dedicated to tracking down the consumers of child pornography wherever they might be in an effort to stop the senseless rape of children that supplies this perverse demand,” said Special Agent in Charge Nick S. Annan, head of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Atlanta. “Child predators come from all walks of life, as the accused in this case clearly demonstrates. This investigation is a credit to the close working relationships HSI has built with law enforcement agencies around the world, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Swiss Fedpol in this case, to protect innocent children.”

Sullivan was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 5.  Wednesday, he was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman on those charges.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February of 2006, the attorney general launched the project, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, it marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. 


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