Crime I WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

FSU Employee Arrested for Distributing Child Pornography in Leon County

By: Eyewitness News; Julie Montanaro Email
By: Eyewitness News; Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 9.28.2010 12:02am by Amy Long

Michael E. Sullivan, a Florida State teaching assistant won't be returning to the front of the class anytime soon. Instead the 49-year-old's next appearance will be in front of a judge facing 46 counts of child pornography.

Sullivan is a Ph.D. student in FSU's English Department and a tutor in the school's Digital Studio- Some students in the English department say it eery to think it's someone who they may have interacted with.

"Pedophilia doesn't discriminate. It doesn't matter what profession it is or what socio-economic level you are, you're going to find that crime at all levels. I walk these halls every day so I'm still kind of, kind of shocked." says Vincent Dale an English Major at FSU

Sullivan was arrested Monday 9-27 night after detectives searched his Pensacola Street apartment. Deputies say some of the photos show adults having sex with infants and arrest papers say Sullivan searched for them by typing in the word "bib-cam."

DET ROB WALLER, LCSO Internet Crimes says, "We don't view these as just images or just videos, these are actual live children that's why the endeavor to identify them is such a vast thing."

Sullivan admitted to downloading the videos for about two years and says he only did it as part of "study" on age of consent.

Waller says "(Sullivan had) Mostly videos, I would say all videos. I don't think he had any still images, he was a video collector."

Sullivan is the third person arrested and charged with Child Pornography in the month of September alone.

LSCO says they are still going through external hard drives and cds that they found around Sullivan's apartment that could lead to more counts against him.

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UPDATED 9.28.2010 3:30pm by Julie Montanaro

An FSU spokesman says Sullivan is a graduate teaching assistant in the English Department and a tutor in the department's Digital Studio.

Spokesman Barry Ray says Sullivan is a second year PhD student who was teaching one class this semester.

Ray says Sullivan has been reassigned to non-classroom duties until this investigation is complete.

Court records show Sullivan made his first appearance before a judge this morning. The judge set his bond at $50,000.

Arrest papers say Sullivan told deputies he had been downloading the videos for more than two years as a "study" interest. Arrest papers say he told deputies he was interested in the "argument over the age of consent."

Arrest papers say Sullivan admitted that a few of the estimated 1000 files on his computer depicted adults sexually abusing infants. Sullivan says he often used the term "Bibcam" to search for photos he wished to study, according to arrest papers.

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UPDATED 9.28.2010 3:30pm by Julie Montanaro

An FSU employee is arrested and accused of dozens of counts of child pornography.

His apartment is just blocks from the Leon County Sheriff's Office and detectives believe he was using his neighbor's wireless connection to trade porn.

49 year old Michael E. Sullivan was arrested Monday afternoon.

Deputies say they were searching his apartment at Palm West on Pensacola Street when Sullivan arrived home with his backpack over his shoulder.

Deputies say Sullivan has an extensive collection of child porn videos.

Right now he's charged with 46 counts, but that could increase when deputies finish reviewing all the discs they found in his apartment.

Deputies say Sullivan was using his neighbor's wireless Internet to share the files. A search of his neighbor's apartment yielded no evidence of any child porn, detectives say.

Michael E. Sullivan lists his employer as Florida State University. We are awaiting information from FSU to determine what his job is at Florida State and what contact he had with students.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Tallahassee, Florida --

The North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has arrested Michael E. Sullivan, 49 and charged him with distributing child pornography. Sullivan became the subject of an undercover
investigation after his computer was located on a file sharing network while possessing illegal files.
When ICAC task force members received pornographic files containing videos of prepubescent and
adolescent children from Sullivan’s computer, they determined the computer’s location through
subpoenas and witness interviews.

On September 27, 2010 members of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement served a search warrant at 2325 West Pensacola Street #212. During the search
warrant, detectives and agents recovered computer equipment, computer hardware and media
storage devices. Forensic examination of the computer equipment is ongoing and additional
charges are likely. Sullivan was taken to the Leon County Jail.

His charges include: Obscene Material-Possess WIT Promote Photo Movie Sex Performance of a Child (46 counts)

WCTV will be bringing you details.


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