U lecturer faces charges

An instructor on the Rochester campus is facing felony charges related to child pornography.

by Alida Tieberg

A University of Minnesota-Rochester lecturer was charged Thursday with the possession and dissemination of child pornography, according to criminal complaint filed Friday in Olmsted County District Court.

Chemistry lecturer Christopher DeZutter was charged with one felony count of disseminating child pornography and 10 felony counts of possessing child pornography.

 Acting on a search warrant, Olmsted County authorities discovered a folder named “UMR” on DeZutter’s external hard drive. Authorities found over 350,000 individual files in more than 4,500 folders. Although not all files were closely examined, the detective who performed the preliminary search was not able to locate any folders that did not contain child pornography, according to the complaint.

DeZutter’s charges were the result of 10 videos located in the files that depict at least 10 different children performing sexual acts. In one video, approximately 29 separate children – including an infant – appeared, the complaint read.

During an interview with an investigator, DeZutter said he had been battling with his interest in child pornography for almost 20 years and had downloaded it as recently as the morning of the search warrant, according to the complaint.

Investigations into DeZutter’s online activity began in October while an officer for the Minnesota Child Exploitation Task Force was investigating child pornography distribution.

Using forensic software, investigators connected an IP address assigned to Meredith DeZutter, who shares an address with Christopher DeZutter, with a computer that was suspected to contain child pornography, the complaint read.

Christopher DeZutter began teaching chemistry at the University of Minnesota-Rochester in August 2011, said University spokesman Mike

Christopher DeZutter is still employed with the school, pending further investigation, but arrangements have been made so he stays off campus and out of class, Schommer said.

If found guilty, DeZutter faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a fine of $10,000 for the dissemination charge and five years with a $5,000 fine for each possession charge.