Ball State University professor gets probation for viewing child porn on campus computer

A former Ball State University professor who told police he viewed child pornography on his campus computer for about three years has been sentenced on probation.

A former Ball State University professor who told police he viewed child pornography on his campus computer for about three years has been sentenced on probation.

70-year-old professor Robert E. Yadon left the Delaware Circuit Court courtroom a convicted felon. The Star Press reported.

Yadon, for nearly three decades a professor of information and communications sciences until shortly before his June 2016 arrest, last July pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

Ball State police reported finding hundreds of pornographic images on Yadon’s computer in the Ball Communication Building, and on other computers and USB storage devices linked to the University professor.

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“Many of the porn photos and videos were of males who appeared to be between the ages of 9 and 15, were completely or semi-nude, and in some cases engaged in sexual acts,” a police officer wrote in an affidavit.

“I am not a pedophile,” Yadon told Judge Linda Ralu Wolf at a sentencing hearing. “I am a threat to absolutely no one.”

The Ball State University professor repeatedly urged the judge Wolf to reduce his conviction to misdemeanor status.



He also employed a phrase first offered by a character witness, a former Ball State colleague: “Viewing is not doing.”

“I’m truly sorry for getting involved in this,” a professor said. “Hopefully, without a felony conviction, I can get on with my life.”

Under cross-examination by Chief Deputy Prosecutor Zach Craig, professor estimated he had viewed “50 to 75” images of child pornography over the last three years.

Craig then called Al Williams, assistant Ball State police chief, who testified “hundreds and hundreds” of such images were found.

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Teresa Redmond, a Delaware County probation officer, recounted a confusing interview with Yadon for a pre-sentence report.

She said the professor at first denied having entered a guilty plea in the case seemed to blame others for his legal dilemma and was “difficult to work with.”

Redmon and Craig both recommended Yadon receive a 21-month sentence, six months of incarceration followed by 15 months of probation.

Craig said the images collected by Yadon were “a document of a child being sexually abused, being changed forever.”

Defense attorney James Schafer called his client “a gentleman who did some very bad things,” but said nothing was to be gained by incarcerating professor.



He noted the Yadon’s age and health problems and called him “a marvel in his chosen profession.

During a hearing that lasted more than 4 hours, Schafer presented the testimony of 3 witnesses who talked at length about Yadon’s professional accomplishments, including his role in establishing Ball State University Center for Information and Communication Sciences.

University professor said he had trained and mentored an estimated 1,700 graduate students, and his former colleagues testified he had helped many of those students land really good jobs.

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Wolf imposed a 2 years prison sentence, which she then suspended, and placed professor on probation for 2 years. She said he would be required to register as a sex offender, and also enroll in a treatment program for sex offenders.

The judge also refused to reduce the conviction to a misdemeanor.

She acknowledged Yadon’s “truly outstanding career,” adding it was “a shame his criminal actions have so sullied such a wonderful reputation.”

Wolf said the pursuit of child pornography “supports a criminalized industry that preys on the most innocent of victims.”

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