A California professor has been arrested for allegedly trafficking images of child sexual abuse and for trying to meet with a 7-year-old girl for "sexual purposes."
This is according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California.
The suspect is 45-year-old Rodger "Rod" Githens, a resident of West Sacramento, California, and a professor at the University of the Pacific.
The Daily Beast reports:
Githens . . . is now the Alexandra Greene Ottesen Endowed Chair for Leadership & Organization Development at the Methodist-affiliated school . . . He has a PhD and a Master’s in Human Resource Development, and did graduate coursework in religious studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary after graduating from Lincoln Christian College with a BS in Religious Studies.
The press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office details the alleged crimes of Githens.
"According to court documents, in late March 2023, Githens, using the profile 'Tall laid back,' initiated contact with an account on the Grindr app controlled by an undercover FBI agent," the press release reads. "Githens encouraged the undercover FBI agent to establish an account with the Telegram app, since it was considered more secure."
During the ensuing conversations, Githens allegedly discussed meeting with "the agent and a supposed 7-year-old niece for sexual purposes."
But, that's not what actually happened. In actuality, the authorities obtained a search warrant and searched Githens's home, where they found evidence of criminal activity.
The press release continues:
[L]aw enforcement served a search warrant at Githens’s residence on April 19, 2023, and seized multiple electronic devices. Agents discovered numerous Telegram chats on Githens’s phone, including several in which he was exchanging and commenting on videos of young children being sexually abused.
The more detailed criminal complaint, which can be read in its entirety here, contains many more sickening details.
Githens has been charged with "receipt and distribution of images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct."
Githens, should he be convicted, is facing a prison sentence of between five and 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. In addition to this, Githens, were he to be released from prison, could be subject to supervision for life.
For the time being, Githens remains detained as he awaits trial.
Githens told the undercover agent that he is married to a 35-year-old man from Mexico. Whether this is true is unclear. But, the criminal complaint does say that Githens's husband told authorities that he was not aware of what his spouse was up to.