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Lack of restrictions led to child porn being possibly downloaded at CSUB

KBAK/KBFX photo

An associate professor of psychology at California State University, Bakersfield has been arrested on suspicion of downloading child pornography.

According to court documents, the professor, 63-year-old Theodore Ishida, downloaded more than 600 child pornography files onto a CSUB computer, then transferred those files onto a personal computer.

At least 10 of the files contain images of girls under the age of 12 years old performing lewd acts. A detective provided a statement of probable cause saying Ishida thought the girls were between the ages of 5 and 10.

All of this leads to the question: Why is anyone able to access child pornography while on CSUB computers or the school's wireless network.

Simply put, the university doesn't restrict access to websites. CSUB does have protections against viruses and malware, but it doesn't restrict use of the internet.

"We are not in the censorship business," said Mike Lukens, a spokesman for CSUB.

There are many reasons why the university doesn't block particular websites, the first being everyone on their campus is an adult and they have the right to make their own choices, for better or worse. Another reason is it's hard to determine where to draw the line, because blocking websites based on content or search words can get messy.

"You really take a chainsaw instead of a scalpel," said Lukens.

This means in order to block child pornography websites, the university would need to block all pornography websites. One may ask what would be so bad about that? Apparently, it could prohibit research being conducted on campus.

"If we do try to restrict the pornography websites, that is going to perhaps restrict access to sites that have legitimate academic and educational uses," said Lukens.

Turns out that on the CSUB campus right now, research and studies are being done observing the effects of pornography on human behavior. According to Lukens, there are many studies throughout campus that revolve around topics some may find unsavory, but he adds that is the case for many if not most universities across the country.

The investigation into Ishida started a year ago when Ishida reported a home burglary.

Ishida contacted police again months later with a claim that he was being extorted, because the person who had his stolen computer had found that it contained inappropriate sexual content. The person reportedly demanded money from Ishida to keep quiet about the child porn.

Police determined there was validity to Ishida's claims, and they identified 39-year-old Francois Gariepy as the extortion suspect. Parole agents conducted a search of a home in December 2016, detained Gariepy and recovered Ishida's computer.

Police inspected the computer and indeed found child pornography, which they believe was downloaded by Ishida from a CSUB computer and then transferred to his personal computer.

The case was handed over the Kern County District Attorney’s Office last month.

Last week, Ishida was arrested on a warrant for possession of child pornography.

Gariepy was arrested on a warrant for attempted extortion.

CSUB said Ishida has been on leave since the beginning of the year.

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