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Butler professor charged with multiple counts of child porn possession

Police arrested 51-year-old Tiberiu Popa Friday afternoon.
Police arrested 51-year-old Tiberiu Popa Friday afternoon.(Staff)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 2:11 PM EST
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WPTA and WTHR) - A Butler University professor is out of a job after being charged with multiple felony child pornography crimes, WPTA affiliate station WTHR reports.

According to a letter to students, staff, and faculty, police arrested 51-year-old Tiberiu Popa Friday afternoon. On Tuesday, he was formally charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography. Prosecutors accuse Popa of possessing sexual images of a child younger than 12.

“We are deeply disturbed by these allegations of such an abhorrent crime,” the letter said. “We have no reason to believe at this time that inappropriate conduct occurred with any minors or students while Popa was on campus.”

The university said Popa, an associate professor of philosophy, was no longer employed there, and Butler University Police is helping IMPD, which is leading the investigation.

According to the probable cause affidavit, IMPD received a tip that an account linked to Popa’s university email address uploaded 24 files of suspected child pornography to the internet. Detectives say the images depict sexual acts with children ranging in age from 4 to 8 years old.

Police served a search warrant at Popa’s home, where he agreed to speak to an IMPD detective. He admitted to visiting websites to view adult pornography but denied viewing or possessing any child pornography. When investigators searched his devices, they found sexually explicit images of children estimated to be between 5 and 10 years old saved in a cloud folder.

Popa then admitted to viewing images of child sexual abuse on his laptop, but denied saving any of the images, court documents say. Investigators say Popa told them the images “repulsed” him, but he still viewed them and it was something he had been struggling with in recent months.

According to court records, Popa’s initial hearing was Tuesday, and his jury trial is scheduled to begin April 7. Since his arrest, he has been released from jail on bond.

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