Report: U-M waited 6 months to report child porn

University of Michigan officials waited six months before telling campus police that child porn was allegedly found on a computer flash drive left behind in a locked hospital lounge for pediatric care residents, according to court documents.
AP Wire
Feb 1, 2012

A female resident told University of Michigan hospital officials in May that she saw child porn on a flash drive she found in the Pediatric Emergency Department lounge, AnnArbor.com reported Sunday. Search warrant affidavits show she discussed the matter with her supervisors, hospital security and the Office of the General Counsel.

But the resident, who said she left the room in a panic without the flash drive, told investigators she was informed days after reporting it that the matter was closed. And security at the university-affiliated hospital didn’t report the case to university police until Nov. 21. 

After police were notified, charges were brought within weeks against Stephen Jenson, a 36-year-old resident physician who worked until December 2011 at the hospital. He is charged with four counts of possessing child sexually abusive material and is awaiting a preliminary hearing.

Jenson’s lawyer, Joe Simon, declined to comment about the case Tuesday to The Associated Press.

University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said an internal review was under way to determine what happened. He said Jenson saw child patients, but there was no evidence he engaged in improper conduct with patients or had contact with the children in the images.

“One of the things we know in this situation is that the allegations that were made in May were not handled properly,” Fitzgerald said. “As soon as we learned about this delay, (university) President (Mary Sue) Coleman asked for an internal review to determine how this happened. At this point, that internal review is still being finalized.”

No one has been disciplined in the matter, he said. He said he didn’t have specifics about why hospital security reported the incident to police in November, but believes they were revisiting the case. He said there were “gaps in procedures.”

According to the court documents, the female resident found a photograph of a nude adult with a child who appeared to be tied to a bed frame.

She suspected the thumb drive might belong to another doctor after opening a document with his name on it, but then panicked and left, the documents said. When she returned the next day, according to the documents, the thumb drive no longer was in the computer.

In a blog post Monday, University of Michigan Health System CEO Ora Pescovitz said the university has “identified significant problems” in the way it handled the initial report in May that child porn had been found at the hospital.

“Undoubtedly, we should have done better,” she wrote. “Moving forward, we will.”

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