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Posted on Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

Timeline in University of Michigan child porn case

By Lee Higgins

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University of Michigan officials waited 6 months before reporting to police that a resident physician found child porn on a thumb drive in the Pediatric Emergency Department at University of Michigan Hospital, records show. has compiled a timeline in the case, based largely on two search warrant affidavits by University of Michigan police Detective Margie Pillsbury and other court records.

The sworn affidavits were recently unsealed in the case against 36-year-old Stephen Jenson, who worked as a resident physician at the hospital until late December. He is charged with four counts of possessing child sexually abusive material and is scheduled to return to court Feb. 16 for a preliminary hearing.

May 23, 2011 — A resident physician is working at night in a locked lounge that residents use in the Pediatric Emergency Department at University of Michigan Hospital. As she's dictating patient charts, she notices a thumb drive was left in the computer she's using. As she opens files on it, seeking to identify its owner, she finds a written document with the name "Stephen Jenson" on it, an affidavit says, recognizing Jenson as another resident physician.

She also finds two image files. One shows an "adult female nude and standing," while the other shows a "caucasian child lying on a bed face up," an affidavit says. A nude adult is lying on the child whose arms are bound to the bed frame, an affidavit says. The resident who views the image believes the child is "definitely pre-pubescent", estimating the child's age between 5 and 10 years old. The resident panics, leaves the thumb drive in the computer and goes home.

May 24, 2011 — The resident who viewed the image returns to work in the morning, planning to retrieve the thumb drive and file a report, an affidavit says. However, the thumb drive is gone.


University of Michigan Hospital.

University of Michigan Health System photo

May (dates unknown) — The resident physician speaks with her supervisors and meets with hospital security officials and then the Office of the General Counsel, revealing what she's seen. She shows hospital security officers the computer she was using. She's told "a few days after making the report that the matter was closed," an affidavit says.

Nov. 18, 2011 - A hospital security official makes a phone call to University of Michigan police Lt. Melissa Overton to report the crime, providing a brief overview of what happened. Overton says she will send an investigator. The security official tells her that those who need to be interviewed have left for the weekend.

Nov. 21, 2011 — Detective Pillsbury is assigned to investigate and immediately starts conducting interviews. She meets with Corbie Wells, who is a supervisor of security services at the hospital, and Latreece Taylor, who is a security investigator there. Wells explains that he and security officer Brian Eichert met with the resident physician in May, when she reported that she saw a pornographic image of a child on a thumb drive left in a computer. She also reported that she found a word document on the drive with a resident physician's name on it.

Wells and Taylor tell Pillsbury that in May they asked Medical Center Information Technology data security analyst Jim Simonis to review the logs for the computer that was used to view the images "to determine if there was information to support the allegation," an affidavit says. Taylor gives Pillsbury a written report identifying Jenson as a suspect, but it's unclear when the report was completed.

After speaking with Wells and Taylor, Pillsbury asks Simonis for data related to the examination in May 2011 of the computer that was used to view the images. The logs pulled in May 2011 show that Jenson logged onto the computer on the night of May 23, an affidavit says. The resident physician who viewed the images logged onto the computer less than two hours after Jenson logged off, an affidavit says. The next morning, an affidavit says, Jenson logged onto the computer for seven minutes. An affidavit says no one logged onto computer between the time the resident who viewed the images logged off and when Jenson logged on the next morning. Pillsbury also interviewed the resident physician sometime between Nov. 21 and Nov. 23.

Nov. 23, 2011 — University police conduct a forensic examination of the computer that was used to view the images.

Dec. 1, 2011 — University police obtain a search warrant for Jenson’s home.

Dec. 2, 2011 — Police execute a search warrant at Jenson’s home in Pittsfield Township, seizing numerous items, including three thumb drives. Investigators obtain another search warrant to examine what they seized. On one thumb drive, an affidavit says, investigators find images of child porn.

Dec. 16, 2011 Jenson is fired from his position at University of Michigan Hospital.

Dec . 17, 2011 — Jenson is arraigned at the Washtenaw County Jail on four counts of possessing child sexually abusive material. University police file court papers, asking for a $25,000 cash bond. In the filings, police note that they consider Jenson a flight risk and danger to the public. Magistrate Mark Nelson releases Jenson on a promise to appear in court with strict bond conditions. Under the conditions, Jenson is prohibited from contacting children and must wear a GPS tether. He had to surrender his passport.

Jan. 30, 2012 — The day after news breaks that the university officials waited six months before reporting the child porn to police, U-M Health System CEO Ora Pescovitz writes on her blog, calling it a, “painful moment in our history.”



Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

The Two Faces of the Same Coin : The face that is revealed to me describes one aspect of Stephen Jenson. I am sure that there could be a better face on the flip side of the same coin. Over the last four years, many would have known him as a resident. His work ethics and professionalism may have been observed by several people. Did any person express any concerns? Did his behavior or bedside manners arouse any suspicion? It is the time for his friends, associates, and relatives to come forward and share their impressions with us. I am rather disappointed to read the comments and find a lack of sympathy for this young doctor. He is not distributing those images. If he has viewed those images, it is not clear as to how we can verify the fact of a crime other than that of storing those images. We encourage people to report crime and suspicious activity. I would encourage people to recognize, and speak with courage and conviction to report the good things that they observe in the behavior and conduct of their social contacts. I seek the ability to recognize the good or right things that people do and I really need no special ability to speak of the evil or bad things that people do.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

@BhvanaJagat - I am puzzled by your defense of this resident. Your disappointment in the lack of sympathy shown to him leads one to believe that you do not understand the seriousness of the accusations. Possession of child porn is a crime. What part of that don't you understand?


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

Seems that the University is trying to throw some folks from hospital security under the bus. Where are the names of the Office of General Counsel personnel who were involved? Protecting bigwigs while sacrificing the underlings?


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

the more I read the more disgusted I become. sorry but this story needs to go national and the alumni and donors need to hear about this. I don't buy the "internal investigation" that mary sue is calling for. time for some leadership changes. not sure that will happen unless the money train stops. pathetic.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 6:53 a.m.

Painfully caught

Bertha Venation

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

HEH! No Kiddin! LOL


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

To bad Mark Bernstein is conflicted out from representing Cheif O'Dell's estate in a case against the U of M. Maybe he should reconsider running for regent and pursue some 1-800 CALL SAM


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

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Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:47 a.m.

How and why is hospital security investigating child porn? How are they ordering prelimanary exams on the computer. They have NO law enforcement training. I want to know who ordered the investigation and who said stop the investigation.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

Were there any contemporaneous records made when the case was closed? Who made the closure decision? Sounds like some Freedom of Information Act requests are in order. Why no referral to police from the get-go? Why is &quot;campus security&quot; involved when this involves potentially serious state or federal child pornography charges? Campus security is something you would imagine addressing unruly behavior or loud parties. Why is there no information Dr. Jenson was ever confronted by anyone for questioning back in May? Was he even aware that anything was going on internally at U-M regarding the thumb drive? Seems to me that if Dr. Jenson had the shrewdness to deep-six the thumb drive once he realized someone may have viewed it after it was forgotten in the computer -and any other suspected child porn - nothing would have happened to him. That, of course, assumes he had left it there in the first place. Search warrant affidavit information may be legally &quot;stale&quot; and entire proofs gathered subject to suppression from evidence by judge and --Voila! -- entire case against Dr. Jenson can be dismissed if the court finds undue delay in obtaining a search warrant. Jenson's lawyers will surely raise this issue before the judge in the criminal case and his career may depend upon the ruling going his way. Jenson's lawyers may also argue a Due Process Clause violation argument that the needless six-month delay in filing charges prejudiced his ability to defend the charges due to possible missing evidence or faded memories. Campus police report to the judge that Dr. Jenson was &quot;a danger to the public&quot; yet the Office of General Counsel and other university officials may not have appeared so concerned. Their inaction may have compromised a criminal case. More facts need to be developed. Disturbing so far, however,


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 11:48 p.m.

I'm not sure why my comment about Greg O'dell's sudden departure from U of M was deleted. My feeling is that as an honorable man, he felt this had to come to light, but the powers that be interfered.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:39 a.m.

I think that is very likely. He was very distraught about the job over Thankgiving.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

Most distressing - a problem that may have been avoided many years ago when UMPD was established and a proposal to include hospital security as part of the UMPD duties and subsume/join the hospital security force with the UMPD was not pursued due to hospital fiefdom control, and comments I heard at the time about not wanting Police in the hospital for &quot;ambiance&quot; reasons. The hospital investigator, not a sworn police officer, did their part of the job, requested a preliminary computer forensic analysis and produced a report, that may have then been sat on by General Counsel (we await this part of the timeline from May to November). The investigator, not a sworn police officer to uphold the law and with no authority (other than moral?) to take the matter elsewhere (as in to those with official police powers or district attorney) without risking the wrath of hospital administration is probably told to desist or that the decision is still in the general counsel's office for &quot;review&quot;. Then Penn State hits, and the hospital investigator realizes a similar situation is about to hit the windshield. 1) the Resident that reported the thumb drive thought that she was reporting to the Police - she wasn't. They (hospital security are not sworn officers). See similar situation via the PSU assistant coach. 2) As the investigator is not a Police Officer, in essence this person is little more than a report writer. He/she now faces a similar dilemma as the reporting resident - did I report this to the proper authorities as part of my job? (yes to the general counsel) but a big maybe NO in terms of the clear evidence of a crime that should have been reported. Watching PSU implode, He/she did the next step and took the matter to sworn police officers with a responsibility not only to the University, but to uphold State and Federal Laws. Had hospital fiefdoms and &quot;ambiance&quot; issues been addressed many years ago, this could have been handled correctly from the


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:52 a.m.

It is called common sense. But security has been try to play police for years by detaining people illegally and as we see, botching REAL crimes with REAL victims. I am disgusted with the way hospital administration is calling this extraordinarily sad. They are only sad because they got caught.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

sorry, ran out of space and time on earlier post (continued): Had hospital fiefdoms and &quot;ambiance&quot; issues been addressed many years ago, this could have been handled correctly from the start. The reporting resident would have talked to an accredited and trained Police Officer, sworn to uphold the law, and the case would have moved through criminal legal procedures (as it finally did occur in November) not the hospital office of general counsel.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

I wonder how much the fact that the Police Chief was Greg O'dell had to do with the reception that he got from DPS. I think O'dell was a man of integrity.

say it plain

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

I'll try this comment again... How can it be called by the UM a 'delay' in reporting, if indeed the only reason the info came to the attention of UM Campus Police was when an unnamed &quot;hospital security official&quot; decided to refer it? Was the resident not told that the 'case was closed' back in late May 2011? If she was, then how did it come about that a hospital security officer decided it should suddenly become &quot;unclosed&quot;? I suppose we will have to learn how it came to change in status from &quot;closed&quot; to not?

average joe

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

How did it come about that a hospital security officer decided it should suddenly become &quot;unclosed&quot;? Three letters- P S U


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

The hospital reacted in a way that they view this as a question of &quot;how do we limit the risk to the hospital&quot;. The way the chain of command went through the General Counsel and probably the Risk Management Offices is the way the hospital handles a possible malpractice lawsuit rather than the way a criminal case should be handled. Now the University wants to pass this off as a problem of faulty procedures rather than a matter of personal responsibility for those who made the decisions or who looked the other way and tried to pass the buck. It is just like the way they handled lesser problems such as the abuse of the trespass policy or not having elections for the DPS Oversight Committee for 10 years. They say, we made changes to policies and the problem is now fixed and then they wait for the public and the media to lose interest. I hope that the public does not lose interest in this case.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

Yes, say it plain, this is, in fact, how they operate.

say it plain

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

Scary to consider that this is how they deal with a possible malpractice suit, how lovely. Don't stop the person/practice/problem that &quot;threatens&quot; them with a claim of malpractice in the first place, just do whatever's necessary to 'make the threat go away' but brushing it under the rug.

Linda Peck

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

The University closed this case by the end of May, approximately one week after the thumb drive was found. The University can work fast when they have something to hide. They acted very quickly to meet and discuss the case and then close the case. I find that information very revealing about the Office of the General Counsel at the University of Michigan.

say it plain

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:20 p.m.

good point! They surely moved *very* quickly to close the investigation! Now we need to know what led them to that decision. From an outside investigator's interviews and audits.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

How could the Office of General Counsel simply &quot;close the matter&quot;? Where are their morals and ethics? They probably decided that they were not legally bound to do anything, so the easiest thing to do, to save face for the University, was just to close the case and hope everyone would just forget about it.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

What is Security doing investigating child pornography case anyways or any other crime. They are Security Officers not Police Officers.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

That must not be true, evidenced here: &quot;Dec. 1, 2011 — University police obtain a search warrant for Jenson's home.&quot; If they got a warrant, they are cops.


Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 1:58 a.m.

Thats the issue, they should not be handling ANY crimes. They are not Police Officers and obviously don't have the public's best interest in mind.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 11:25 p.m.

Hospital Security acts like the campus police on the hospital campus. They investigate all crimes and handle all complaints and call main campus police when warranted and they call A2 police when warranted.

Silly Sally

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

Wow, smart enough to be a medical doctor at UM but stupit enought to bring porn to work. Then when comprimised, all he had to do was retrieve it. But instead he logs in a second time, creating a nice tim-line for the police. Then all he had to do was to remove ALL porn from his home. But he did not and his life is forever changed. What a loser. Wow. I'm glad he is not examining my children, though.


Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

&quot;Nov. 21, 2011 — The incident is finally reported to university police after a hospital security official comes forward.&quot; My question here would be what caused the official to finally come forward? Also, were they involved in the original &quot;investigation&quot;? The highest ranking office here is still the Office of the General Counsel - attorneys for the University of Michigan. They found no need to report anything to the police?

Left is Right

Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 4:41 a.m.

&quot;The highest ranking office here is still the Office of the General Counsel - attorneys for the University of Michigan. They found no need to report anything to the police?&quot; Or up the hospital / university chain of command? Chilling from a number of perspectives.