UC Berkeley executive arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography

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UC Berkeley executive director of financial planning and analysis Jon Bain-Chekal, 49, was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of possessing child pornography, according to Berkeley Police Department and as first reported by Berkeleyside.

The investigation began after the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip regarding child pornography from an online account, according to BPD spokesperson Officer Byron White. The Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and its members from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, among others, assisted in the investigation.

“The (online) account was created and accessed from Jon Bain-Chekal’s residence and work,” White said in an email. “Search warrants were (then) served at Bain-Chekal’s residence and work.”

These search warrants revealed images of child pornography in the online account with additional images being recovered from a laptop, according to White. During an interview with police, Bain-Chekal admitted to viewing and possessing child pornography.

Bain-Chekal was released from Berkeley City Jail on Thursday and cited for misdemeanor possession of child pornography.

“The campus is in the process of putting Jon Bain-Chekal on administrative investigatory leave,” said campus spokesperson Michael Emerson Dirda in an email. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot provide additional information at this time.”

Clara Rodas is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ClaraRodas10.