Warning: This article contains graphic content relating to child pornography.
The UC Santa Barbara psychological & brain sciences researcher that was arrested in June following the discovery of child pornography on his UC-issued laptop has been put on leave and banned from campus for the duration of the investigation into him, according to UCSB Public Relations Manager Kiki Reyes.
“The University is aware of the allegations involving this researcher. The individual, who did not teach any classes, has been put on leave and is currently not permitted on campus pending the outcome of the investigation,” Reyes said in an email statement to the Nexus.
The statement followed Nexus reporting on Matthew Peterson’s arrest. UCSB had, at the time, declined to disclose Peterson’s suspension and campus ban in the multiple statements it provided the Nexus with, which stated that the researcher was still employed by the university.
Peterson’s university webpage, which had been visible prior to the Nexus’ reporting, has since been locked.
Today UCSB sent the Nexus more information than was initially disclosed.
“The University is aware of the allegations involving this researcher. The individual, who did not teach any classes, has been put on leave and is currently not permitted on campus pending the outcome of the investigation,” Reyes.
Peterson was arrested in Carpinteria, at a house he did not reside in, for alleged possession of control child pornography and booked with a $50,000 bail, per police records obtained by the Nexus. The records indicate that Peterson was previously convicted of a felony at the time of his arrest.
Reyes also clarified that there is no indication the alleged behavior was connected at all to the research Peterson was undertaking at the time of his arrest.
In an email statement to the Nexus from the UCSB Police Department, Public Information Officer Dan Wilson said that the office received a credible tip that led them to investigate.
“Our department received a creditable tip that Peterson had child sexual abuse matertial (CSAM) on his department issued computer,” Wilson said. “ After further investigation, our detectives developed probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant.”