Subscribe for 99¢

ST. LOUIS • A Washington University official whose retirement for “personal reasons” was announced this month has been indicted on a federal child pornography charge.

Justin X. Carroll, the university’s dean of students and interim athletic director after a 36-year tenure at the university, was indicted on a charge of access with intent to view child pornography.

Federal investigators tracking a group of people sharing child pornography online identified Carroll as one of the participants by tracing internet protocol addresses to computers at Washington University and Carroll’s home in University City, according to prosecutors. The indictment covers activity between November 2015 and December 2016.

The indictment lists an alias of “MOperv” for Carroll, and says that he was caught with videos that featured prepubescent boys.

Authorities said the investigation did not find any wrongdoing involving Carroll’s university responsibilities or students. U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said Washington University cooperated with the investigation.

Carroll, 67, of the 500 block of North and South Road, appeared before a federal judge Monday morning wearing a North Face jacket, khakis and loafers, and shackled at the ankles and wrists. U.S. Magistrate Judge John Bodenhausen set bail at $100,000. Carroll, who had turned himself in to authorities, was expected to be released after posting 10 percent of that figure.

He told Bodenhausen that his last day at work was in December, but he is currently still on the payroll, apparently using accumulated vacation time. Officials said the university was notified Dec. 20 about the investigation, and he was put on leave and banned from campus immediately.

University spokeswoman Jill Friedman called the circumstances “devastating and shocking.”

“While our investigation is ongoing, at this point, we have no reason to believe that Mr. Carroll had inappropriate interactions with any member of the university community or any participant in university programs,” the school said in a statement Monday.

Carroll’s lawyer, Paul DAgrosa, declined to comment after the brief hearing.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Washington University officials told the student newspaper, Student Life, last week that Carroll was retiring for personal reasons. His career spanned from leading student housing to landing at a top spot in student affairs as the dean of students.

A university blog post on his retirement and other changes in his department didn’t give additional details.

Carroll’s retirement was to be effective Wednesday.

The indictment was filed last week but sealed until his court appearance Monday.

Carroll will next be in court Feb. 8 for his arraignment.

While the case is pending, he will be forbidden from consuming alcohol or illegal drugs and will face a ban on internet use. He must also surrender his passport.

Get high-interest news alerts delivered promptly to your inbox.

Ashley Jost is the higher education reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.