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Prof's bail set in child porn case

Bail was set at $600,000 Thursday for a professor accused of downloading child pornography onto a D'Youville College computer.

Philip M. Gray, 59, of Amherst, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott in connection with his arrest last week on a felony charge of possessing child pornography.

Details of Gray's bail release are expected to be worked out next week and will probably include home confinement, said one of the professor's attorneys, Cheryl Meyers Buth.

According to court papers, an attorney associated with the college alerted the FBI last month after a technician found offensive and illegal matter on a computer Gray had been using.

Gray told a fellow professor he began "exploring" child porn news groups while doing research for a course he was teaching on sexual deviancy, FBI agent Kenneth A. Jensen Jr. said in the court documents.

Jensen said FBI agents arrested Gray at his home last week after learning that Gray -- a Vietnam War veteran -- had spoken about the possibility of fleeing to Vietnam to avoid facing the charges.

Gray, a sociology professor, is accused of using a computer at the D'Youville campus to download at least 158 Internet images of child pornography. He pleaded not guilty. Meyers Buth declined to comment on the allegations.

Spokesman D. John Bray said D'Youville is weighing "the appropriate action to take against Professor Gray."

Downloading child porn as research for a course would never be "condoned or permitted by the college," Bray said. He added that D'Youville officials are "deeply concerned" and promptly notified the FBI after learning the material had been found on a computer.

James P. Kennedy, criminal chief of the U.S. attorney's office in Buffalo, is prosecuting.

e-mail: dherbeck@buffnews.com

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