Update: Following the initial publication of this article, multiple students sent emails to the Dean of Students office asking for explanations. The Dean of Students office has since released a statement. The article has been updated to include information from their statement.
A University of Miami student was arrested on Dec. 9 for possession and distribution of child pornography. The student, Austin Altevogt, has since been charged with six counts related to distribution and possession of child pornography. He is currently enrolled in online classes at UM.
Altevogt and his attorney declined to comment for this article.
The criminal complaint, obtained by The Miami Hurricane and publicly filed in Brevard County, Florida, was filed by Federal Bureau of Investigations officer Rod Hyre, an agent who specializes in child pornography cases. The complaint describes in detail videos distributed by social media accounts owned by Altevogt and saved to his personal electronic devices. The videos showed children from as young as 4 to 6 years old being sexually abused in various forms. The documents give no indication that he produced any of these videos.
According to the documents, Altevogt, 22, admitted to having possessed and shared child pornography for “approximately 3 years.” Altevogt directed Hyre and the officers to a folder on his iPhone labeled “hidden,” which Altevogt used to store child pornography.
The documents also show that Altevogt opened up accounts used to acquire child pornography in 2018. According to documents, he admitted to having viewed child pornography for about three years; he tried to stop but said he couldn’t.
Altevogt was involved on campus, and people who know him said he seemed like a “normal” guy.
Despite these charges, Altevogt has been allowed to continue his education at UM for the time being in accordance with policies set by the university.
According to the student handbook, a student who is faced with a potential violation that is being adjudicated in the court of law is able to request a “Stay of Student Conduct Proceedings.” This allows a student to pause any school-related disciplinary procedures, until after their trial is completed.
In a statement released by administration to students on March 16, UM administrators learned about the charges against Altevogt on Feb 3. This was after class registration for spring ended and nearly two months from the date of his arrest. The statement further explains, how the stay in place works.
“A student who has a stay in place in the conduct process will not and cannot register for future classes or potentially graduate from the university without resolving any pending conduct case.”
Altevogt’s LinkedIn page indicates he is a fifth year senior who is currently taking classes online from his home under supervision mandated by the court.
Altevogt’s next court date is April 8.