UK veterinary lab's associate director charged with possession of child pornography

jwarren@herald-leader.comMarch 6, 2014 

Neil Williams

A 59-year-old University of Kentucky professor has been charged with possessing child pornography after material was found on a university computer, according to authorities.

UK police arrested Neil Mason Williams about 6 p.m. Wednesday at the university's veterinary diagnostic laboratory on Bull Lea Road.

Williams works there as associate director, according to university records. He was hired in January 1987. As of July 1, his salary was listed as $133,908.

Williams' attorney, Burl McCoy, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf during a brief video arraignment Thursday in Fayette District Court. Williams is scheduled to appear in court again March 17.

District Judge Kim Wilkie said Williams can be released into the custody of his wife.

Earlier Thursday, UK spokeswoman Kathy Johnson said Williams has been suspended with pay.

According to court documents, police were summoned to the UK veterinary lab Wednesday afternoon, where an officer saw a snapshot of Williams' external hard drive and desktop. The computer contained images of minors involved in sexual intercourse, according to the court filings.

Police seized the hard drive and the desktop computer and planned to scan them for further evidence once a search warrant was obtained, the court documents said.

The computer involved is owned by UK, according to Johnson.

UK police are working with an FBI task force, Johnson said.

McCoy said after court Thursday that he had just been retained to represent Williams and that he knew few details about the case. He said he hadn't had an opportunity to talk with Williams until Thursday's hearing.

"This is a very serious matter," McCoy said, and Williams will "take it as such."

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