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Former UAA professor arrested on child porn charges

Tegan Hanlon

A former assistant professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage was arrested Wednesday on charges of distributing and possessing child pornography at both his office and residence, according to a release from the state department of law.

Curtis Osterhoudt, 37, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday, shortly after he turned himself in to Alaska State Troopers, accompanied by his lawyer, Phil Shanahan, said Adam Alexander, assistant attorney general.

On Tuesday, an Anchorage grand jury indicted Osterhoudt on 14 felony counts related to child pornography, asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact troopers, Alexander said.

According to an indictment filed in the case, investigators found that on Dec. 19, 2012, Osterhoudt distributed, advertised, promoted, solicited or offered to distribute images of child pornography. It was also found that he possessed or knowingly accessed photographs and videos of child pornography, some with titles that indicated the children were as young as seven years old, the document said.

Osterhoudt was an assistant processor of physics and astronomy at UAA from August 12, 2012, until he resigned on Jan. 8, 2014, said Kristin DeSmith, vice chancellor of university relations at UAA. She said she did not know the reasons for his resignation.

In a document introducing new UAA faculty members, Osterhoudt's section read, "I research mainly in physical acoustics, statistical mechanics and archaeology, and wish to bring a passion for science in general, and the ability to think critically to the students of UAA."

DeSmith said the university does not monitor its staff's Internet content or search history unless there is reasonable suspicion of misconduct.

Osterhoudt is being held at the Anchorage jail on $100,000 bail, with his next court date scheduled for June 3, according to court documents.

If convicted, he faces a sentence between two and 12 years for each count, with a maximum sentence of 99 years, said a statement from the attorney general's office.

The investigation was conducted by the troopers' Technical Crimes Unit with the help of the UAA Police Department and the Anchorage Police Department's Cyber Crimes Unit.

Shanahan could not be reached for immediate comment, but his office confirmed that he is representing Osterhoudt.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@adn.com or 257-4589.


By TEGAN HANLON
thanlon@adn.com