UM researcher charged in disturbing child pornography case

Posted at 10:42 PM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 05:24:14-05

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michael Zeidler, 48, has worked at the University of Michigan since 1999, and is alleged to have shared images of young children being sexually abused as well as recording foreign exchange students in his home, and using those videos to pleasure himself.

Zeidler worked on animals at a research lab at the university, and according to the FBI, he was using a work computer to view and share child porn.

Simultaneous FBI raids were conducted at Zeidler's University of Michigan research office, and his Ann Arbor home, all related to child pornography.

According to these federal charging documents, the investigation began in November when an undercover detective was able to download more than 600 videos and images of graphic pornography, one video involving a man sexually assaulting a 2 to 3-year-old child.

Two IP addresses were tracked back to the university, and the user was identified as Ziedler, who was home at the time of the raid.

Court documents show Zeidler allegedly confessed to downloading child porn as far back as 2012. And at his Ann Arbor home, he allegedly filmed foreign exchange students in the bathroom without their knowledge, and would later use the videos to pleasure himself. In a statement provided to Action News by Michigan Medicine, a spokesperson says Zeidler's "job did not involve patient care."

The statement went on to read: "We have cooperated fully with law enforcement on this investigation and will continue to do so. Zeidler was hired in August 1999 and is currently on suspension.”

Zeidler also admitted to also recording his kids' play dates, according to documents. However, he said he deleted those videos. He is currently in jail with a hearing scheduled for Wednesday in federal court.

Read full court documents below:

Michael Zeidler Criminal Co... by on Scribd