By Hema Mullur
MIDLAND - Shocking charges surface against a Midland College professor involving sharing child pornography over the Internet. Dr. David Allen is the custody of U.S. Marshals after an investigation that began more than a year ago.
Dr. David Allen faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of these charges, and many can't believe what he's accused of.
"Nice guy, an intellectual, very learned," Midland College Spokesperson Nancy Thorne described.
And that's why it came as such a shock.
Dr. David Allen, a professor at Midland College for 10 years, arrested on charges of sharing child pornography over the Internet.
"The authorities contacted us and came to campus last Thursday, May 15th," Thorne said. "They were investigating the matter, and I believe they were interested in the computer from his office."
That was the same day Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents removed Allen's personal computer from his home on Quicksand Drive. On it, they say they found chat sessions exchanging dozens of images of child pornography, including those of underage girls posing nude and children engaging in sexually explicit acts. Those children - anywhere from infants to about 15 years old.
"This is very serious," Thorne said.
Many of Allen's former students are shocked.
"I know that he was very close to his family, and he was very rooted in his heritage and his religion, and that sort of thing."
Maija Johnson studied under Allen for more than a year, and says she never saw this coming.
"This is actually really shocking to me, because I would have never expected something to this extent," she said.
Allen is on unpaid leave from the College and they say they'll do everything they can to cooperate with authorities.
"We're shocked and very disturbed, and we want to do whatever we can to investigate it and move past it," Thorne said. "It's sort of a bad day for the whole community, and I think we all sort of feel like how awful this is, and how sad it is not just for the College, but for everyone."
A detention hearing has been set for this Friday at 9:00 a.m. to determine Allen's bond.
Until then, he remains in the custody of U.S. Marshals.