CMU prof jailed on $500k bond in child porn case

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) - The criminal complaint regarding the Central Michigan University professor child porn case accuses William L. Merrill of having more than 5,487 images of child pornography and at least 26 movies exploiting children on his home computer.

A member of CMU's IT staff discovered several videos containing child pornography when he was attempting to fix Merrill's work laptop, according to the complaint.

CMU Police were able to secure other electronic devices from his home. Merrill admitted to detectives that he was assaulted as a minor and "wanted to know if child pornography was as repulsive as he had read about."

According to the report, Merrill hand wrote and signed a statement indicating he downloaded and viewed child pornography.

A  judge has set a $500,000 bond for the professor whose research focuses on Internet censorship and the use of children in advertising who's charged with having child pornography on his Central Michigan University computer.

Merrill was arraigned Tuesday in Isabella County court and returned to jail. Judge William Rush holds a hearing Thursday to set future court dates.

The court says Merrill didn't have a lawyer on record and no plea was entered.

The school last week suspended Merrill and barred him from the campus in Mount Pleasant, about 120 miles northwest of Detroit. It says he resigned Monday.

Prosecutors have charged Merrill with distributing child pornography, possessing child pornography, and using a computer to commit a crime. He also is charged with possessing a switchblade.

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