Local News

Duke Student Suspected of Peddling Pornography

Posted September 16, 1998

— Investigators have tracked another case of online child porn to the Triangle. Two weeks ago, agents raided the home of a Chapel Hill man. Thursday night, a Duke University student is under suspicion for peddling pornography.

Florida authorities surfing Internet chat rooms for pedophiles recently ran across a person nicknamed 'Littleone.'

Agents discovered that 'Littleone' offered downloaded digital images depicting nude children engaged in sexual activity.

SBI agents traced the child porn to Trent Dormitory on the Duke University campus in Durham.

Sophomore Brett Pettigrew was stunned when a small army of SBI agents raided the room across the hall.

"It was kind of a surprise," Pettigrew said. "It's something you see on the news, not something you expect to see outside your own door, especially at a place like Duke."

Much like the international child porn crackdown a few weeks ago, agents confiscated a laptop computer, a printer, and various disks.

All Duke students have high speed Internet access from their dorm rooms, and investigators suspect this student was using the opportunity to peddle illegal pictures.

"Well, I think most of the campus has been shocked," Duke student Sarah Kaffenberger said. "I think there's this kind of a feeling that you automatically assume at a University such as this, there's some kind of immunity to those things."

The SBI raid has left many Duke students unsettled, but most are withholding judgment until charges are filed.

"It's really not something that I need to be scared because I've got a rapist upstairs," Duke student Simon Pfister said. "It's someone who does something wrong that's not going to hurt me. Also, the way everything gets blown out of proportion."

We have chosen not to identify the Duke student because he has not yet been charged with any crime. In addition, Duke has taken no action against him.

The SBI says this case is not related to the international series of raids earlier this month.


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