An LSU professor was arrested at work Friday after police say they found videos of child rape and bestiality on his office computer.
Gerald Myers, 61, was booked on pornography involving juveniles, sexual abuse of an animal and marijuana possession.
With searches still underway, officials say he faces additional counts in St. Gabriel and his hometown New Orleans.
LSU campus police began looking into the case after the IT team in the school’s Agriculture Center alerted them to troubling files on Myers’ work computer, according to an affidavit for his arrest.
Police say the tip led them to two files with the same “alarming” title, which included a female name and described her as a seventh-grader performing a sexual act on “Gerald.”
That initial discovery led LSUPD to focus their search on “questionable media,” which turned up an additional 50 files that they said seemed pornographic. Many had similar titles indicating an age or grade and a sexual act, police say. And many mentioned the name “Gerald” or the initials “GOM.”
IT staff pointed police to an external hard drive linked to the computer, saying it would be worth checking whether the files were transferred between devices. To cast a wider net, LSUPD obtained search warrants for the building, Sturgis Hall, Myers’ office, his Mazda 3 and home in New Orleans.
At about 11 a.m. the next day, LSU investigators, accompanied by an agent with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit, showed up to Room 107 in Sturgis Hall to arrest Myers.
Police say Myers tried to take the hard drive on his way out.
Though the drive was encrypted, investigators say they managed to see its contents because the computer was up and running at the time and the device was open for access. Detectives say they found 100 videos they “reasonably believed” to depict child pornography, the affidavit says. They say they also found a small jar of marijuana in his Mazda.
The state’s cyber crime agent said some of the videos looked familiar, that he’d seen them in past investigations. Police say the videos depicted rape on a range of children, from infants to pre-pubescent, and bestiality involving horses, dogs and other animals.
Officials said Friday that “several searches” were ongoing.
LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said the university is working with law enforcement, and that the school put Myers on paid administrative leave and barred him from returning to campus until there’s a final determination in the case.
“Given the serious nature of the accusations,” Ballard continued, “the AgCenter will be working with faculty and staff to ensure any necessary support opportunities are available.”
Myers is a 27-year veteran of the university’s AgCenter, where his research has focused on improving cotton yield and quality.