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FILE - A Utah Valley University professor is under criminal investigation after court documents indicate he admitted to students that he had looked at child pornography and then apologized to his students.

OREM — A Utah Valley University professor is under criminal investigation after court documents indicate he admitted to students that he had looked at child pornography and then apologized to his students.

On Dec. 3, the 42-year-old part-time adjunct economics professor at UVU was lecturing students on macroeconomics when he suddenly "confessed to his class of students about his child pornography addiction," according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 4th District Court.

The class, which was also being video streamed, was recorded on a thumb drive and presented to the UVU Police Department, which then contacted the Department of Homeland Security.

On Dec. 4, the professor "was confronted about his in-class confession" by Laura Carlson, the school's director of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, and he "tendered his resignation," the affidavit states.

University spokesman Scott Trotter released a brief statement on Wednesday, stating in part that the man "was employed at Utah Valley University from August 2014 to December 2018. He no longer works at the university.”

As of Thursday, the professor had not been arrested nor charged. Phone messages left for him Wednesday and Thursday were not returned.

Investigators reviewing the recorded classroom lecture noted that about 90 minutes into his class, he "ceases his discussion of the subject matter related to macroeconomics and begins talking to his students about taking them on a/his 'spiritual journey.' It was during this portion of the video that (he) makes statements about his involvement with viewing child pornographic materials," the affidavit states.

"Tonight I am going to beg your pardon to share my filth with you," he said at one point, according to the court document. "The very worst thing that I can share with you is the fact that I have seen youth — beautiful, wonderful children of this earth, in compromising positions, and sexual positions. … If we are talking about a line in the sand then we are taking it south of an area that we shouldn’t be. … I’m sorry, but I have seen that."

While continuing to apologize, the professor stressed to the class that he has not touched anyone inappropriately and does not keep "a library" of pornographic images, "except what is in his head," the affidavit states.

"If you are a human being who I saw, I am not sorry that I saw you … as terrible as that sounds. I am sorry that I looked at you in that way. … I am sorry that I chose to look at you in that way,” he told the class, according to the warrant.

"What I saw was not art, let me make it very clear. It’s embarrassing, I’m ashamed and I apologize. And I will live with it,” he said, according to the affidavit. He "then stated that he wanted to change the world by admitting when we are wrong and that we can all be better people now and change."

Investigators noted in their warrant that several students filed complaints with the UVU Ethics Point Complaints program due to "the graphic nature of (his) classroom confession to viewing child pornographic materials." The program allows students to anonymously file ethics complaints.

"He started talking about how he had never inappropriately touched a child and in a roundabout way, he talked about I'm guessing his pornography addiction (I don't think I actually heard him say 'pornography')," wrote one student, who also noted, "No one really understood what he was getting at."

"After that, he said he was going to take us on 'a spiritual journey' and … that is when I decided to leave class (because I didn't want to go on a spiritual journey. … That has nothing to do with macroeconomics)," the student continued in the affidavit. "So, it was SUPER weird, and I just don't feel like it was an appropriate thing to do in a macroeconomics class."

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In another complaint, a student said the professor never stated the exact ages of the minors in the photographs, nor did he say when the viewing had occurred or whether any "action had been taken against him for doing so."

An investigator with the Department of Homeland Security obtained a warrant to search the professor's Midway home on Feb. 28 to seize electronic equipment or disks that could potentially contain child pornography. The warrant does not say what specifically was seized or whether anything was found.

Messages left with the Department of Homeland Security seeking additional comment were not returned.