Openly Gay Professor at Christian College Indicted on Heinous Charges
An associate professor was indicted Thursday by a grand jury on charges of the “receipt and distribution of images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” according to a news release from the Department of Justice.
Rodger Githens, an associate professor at the University of the Pacific, a private university founded by Methodist ministers in 1851, where he taught leadership and organization development, was charged by the DOJ in April for possession and distribution of child pornography after being caught in a sting operation, according to the news release.
A grand jury indicted Githens on the charges Thursday and if convicted by a jury he could serve up to 20 years in prison.
“If convicted, Githens faces five to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, a lifetime of supervised release, and forfeiture of any property used to facilitate commission of the offense,” the DOJ’s release read.
Githens matched with an undercover FBI agent on the dating app Grindr and began explaining that he had sexual relationships with minors under the age of 12, including his nephew, according to court documents obtained by the Daily Beast.
The professor allegedly sent sexually explicit pictures and videos of a minor performing sexual acts on adults to the undercover agent and even described his plan to lure the FBI agent’s fake seven-year-old niece with a chocolate bar and an Ariel doll.
Githens’ legal spouse, to whom he had been married for 13 years, told the FBI that he was unaware of his partner’s behavior, according to the Daily Beast.
The FBI raided Githens’ house on April 19 and later charged him with possession and distribution of child pornography after “[a]gents discovered numerous Telegram chats on Githens’ phone, including several in which he was exchanging and commenting on videos of young children being sexually abused,” according to to the release.
Githens was placed on administrative leave following the charges, according to a statement given to the Daily Beast.
Before working at the university, Githens took graduate-level coursework in religious studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary after he had graduated from Lincoln Christian College with a BS in Religious Studies, according to his LinkedIn profile.
UP and Githens did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
The news release follows in its entirety.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment today against Rodger Githens, 45, of West Sacramento, charging him with receipt and distribution of images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, in late March 2023, Githens, using the profile “Tall laid back,” initiated contact with an account on the Grindr app controlled by an undercover FBI agent. Githens encouraged the undercover FBI agent to establish an account with the Telegram app, since it was considered more secure. Githens several times discussed traveling to Fresno to meet the agent and a supposed 7-year-old niece for sexual purposes, but law enforcement served a search warrant at Githens’s residence on April 19, 2023, and seized multiple electronic devices. Agents discovered numerous Telegram chats on Githens’s phone, including several in which he was exchanging and commenting on videos of young children being sexually abused.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the West Sacramento Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Githens faces five to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, a lifetime of supervised release, and forfeiture of any property used to facilitate commission of the offense. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet-safety education.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation.
For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.