Professor Pleads Guilty in Porn Case
A 56-year-old UCLA professor faces time in Ventura County Jail after admitting he used the Internet to send pornographic images to a 13-year-old Simi Valley girl and made sexual advances, authorities said Friday.
Andrew Roy Dyck, a classics teacher and author of several books, turned himself in to police in October and pleaded guilty Thursday to two felony counts of sending harmful information over the Internet and using e-mail and the telephone in an attempt to seduce a minor. He remains free on $10,000 bail until his May 20 sentencing.
“This is the one mistake he made in his life. He has an impeccable record of being a wonderful classicist and a beloved professor,” said Donald Etra, the Century City attorney who represents Dyck. “He made a mistake. He regrets it. He apologizes to the victim.”
Dyck faced up to four years in prison. But because Dyck admitted guilt, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Bruce Clark tentatively agreed to grant him probation with no more than six months in County Jail, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Marc Leventhal.
Etra said Dyck, who is married with no children, had no criminal history and hoped his cooperation with authorities would spare him a jail term.
Dyck met the girl in November 2002 on a pen pal website and sent her dozens of e-mails with graphic language and explicit photographs through July 2003, Leventhal said. But after a month, the girl’s parents became aware of the correspondence, restricted her computer use and turned the matter over to the Simi Valley Police Department.
During a subsequent investigation, a female officer, posing as the teenager, persuaded Dyck to share his phone number.
On July 2, during a second telephone call, Dyck attempted to get the woman, whom he thought was the girl, to engage in phone sex shortly before Simi Valley police served a search warrant at his campus office and seized two school computers, Leventhal said.
After three months of reviewing data on the computers, a warrant was issued for Dyck’s arrest and he turned himself in Oct. 2
“The computer is like a fantasy land, but sometimes it can lead to acts that are deemed criminal,” Etra said, adding that in his client’s mind “there was never any intent to meet the person he was corresponding to.”
Dyck, who has taught at UCLA since 1978 and was classics department chairman from 1988 to 1991, “was placed on administrative leave Thursday pending further review by the university administration and the academic senate,” said Harlan Lebo, a UCLA spokesman.