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Tennessee Tech engineering professor indicted for child porn

By Britney Beaty and Kelly Camera
On October 11, 2018

Dr. Omar Elkeelany.  Photo obtained from Dr. Elkeelany's Tennessee Tech webpage.

Police believe Tech engineering professor Dr. Omar Elkeelany may have fled the United States after being indicted on a charge related to sexual exploitation of a minor, Putnam County authorities said.

On Oct. 1, investigators presented the evidence to the Putnam County grand jury, who issued an indictment charging him with possession of more than 100 images of child pornography on his office computer, the press release said.

Elkeelany began working at Tech in 2005 as a computer and electrical engineering professor. He got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt, and completed his Ph.D. at University of Missouri-Kansas City. According to his ResearchGate profile, his skills and expertise include computer networks security, cybersecurity and encryption.

Investigations began after the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children received a Cyber Tip alleging someone in Putnam County possessed child pornography. Cookeville police found “sufficient evidence” to obtain a search warrant to seize information from any computer or office used by Elkeelany, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office. 

Authorities attempted to arrest Elkeelany but found he had “likely fled this jurisdiction.” Investigators are now working with federal law enforcement in an attempt to locate him, according to the press release. 

At this time, it is unclear when the investigation on Elkeelany began and when the police attempted to arrest him. 

Elkeelany resigned from his position as interim chair of the computer and electrical engineering department and took a leave of absence on Sept. 25, university spokesperson Dewayne Wright said. 

Elkeelany is currently on suspension and will be officially terminated under Tech’s Policy 205 on Friday, university spokesperson Buddy Pearson told News Talk 94.1. According to the policy, tenured faculty members can be terminated for adequate cause, including “capricious disregard of accepted standards of professional conduct.”

Authorities request anyone who has information about Elkeelany’s whereabouts contact the Cookeville Police Department or the district attorney’s office immediately.

Elkeelany's office in Brown Hall.  Photo by Nick Rogers.

 

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