U prof arrested for alleged child pornography

Woody Dale Branton will appear in court next Wednesday.

Nicholas Studenski

FBI special agents arrested a University of Minnesota faculty member Friday morning following accusations of child exploitation.

A warrant for the arrest of Woody Dale Branton, an associate professor in the neuroscience department, was issued in the Western District of Louisiana, said Kyle Loven, chief division counsel for the Minneapolis division of the FBI.

The warrant was for the alleged enticement of a child to perform sexually explicit acts and the production of child pornography.

Branton appeared in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on Friday after his arrest, according to court documents. He’ll remain in custody until his next appearance, scheduled for Wednesday.

The New Orleans division of the FBI is handling the investigation. A spokesperson for the division declined to comment on the investigation.

Branton has worked for the University since 1988 but is not teaching any courses this semester for reasons unrelated to the arrest, said University spokesman Chuck Tombarge.

“The University is currently reviewing his employment status based on this particular incident,” Tombarge said.