University of Rochester

Graduate Student Charged, University Cooperating with Investigation

October 14, 2008

Gilbert Kirton, a graduate student in English, has been charged with "possession of obscene sexual performance by a child," according to a statement by the New York State Police on Oct. 14. He was arraigned on Oct. 10.

Kirton, a graduate student since 2004, also has taught courses in writing and study skills to undergraduate students.

He is now on leave and has been summarily suspended. Summary suspensions are put in place to protect the University community, pending review of the case. He is not allowed on campus.

"The charge is serious. The University has cooperated fully and vigorously in this investigation," said Walter Mauldin, director of University Security. "In order to comply with federal privacy laws and to protect the integrity of this investigation, we cannot offer further details. Mr. Kirton is entitled to a presumption of innocence."

The police statement also mentioned a faculty member accused of alerting Kirton to the investigation. To our knowledge, charges have not been filed.

"Without attempting to pass judgment in this particular case," University President Joel Seligman said, "let me remind all members of the University community of our duty to cooperate fully with legal investigations. Our integrity as an institution is reliant on full and complete compliance with the law."