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Former Winona State prof charged with possession of child porn

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WINONA — A former physics professor at Winona State University has been released on his own recognizance after being charged with eight counts of felony possession of child pornography.

Edward Bryan Roberts, 54, of Elkader, Iowa, made his first appearance Nov. 12 in Winona County District Court. His next court date has been set for Dec. 3.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Roberts, the investigation began in December 2011, when a university employee reported to police that Roberts' computer contained multiple images of pornography. The professor had taken his computer to the university's IT department, claiming it had a virus.

Investigators executed a search warrant and found several files of pornography. They also found a separate folder that included at least three child pornography videos that featured child victims who have been identified through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the charges. That discovery allowed investigators to determine the ages of the children in the video, the complaint says.

Investigators reportedly found at least 30 videos on Roberts' computer that showed children, many of whom were determined to be between the ages of 4 and 7 years old and were forcibly engaged in various sexual acts with adult males. Multiple videos had been downloaded and accessed within months of Roberts bringing the computer to WSU's tech support, according to the charges.

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Roberts allegedly told university officials someone else had been looking at the pornography, though the computer is password-protected. The guest profile on the computer had never been used.

Law enforcement attempted to contact Roberts, who refused to provide a statement.

It's unclear why the charges weren't filed until nearly three years after the images were discovered.

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