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Thomas More: We Had No Knowledge of Child Porn Investigation

The president of Thomas More College issued a statement Thursday further illustrating that the campus community knew nothing of the criminal investigation of former campus safety director Rob Marshall. 

Marshall was arrested on Wednesday and faces 36 counts of possession and viewing child pornography. Covington Police spokesperson Brian Steffen later told the media that the investigation into the allegations against Marshall started two years ago, in January 2014.

"The Thomas More College Community is extremely troubled by the allegations against Rob Marshall. We are a values-based institution, and our thoughts and prayers go out to anybody involved in this difficult situation," Armstrong said in a statement.

Armstrong issued a list of points that he said he would like to clarify:

  • Regarding Marshall’s arrest, Thomas More College had absolutely no prior knowledge of this investigation, Armstrong said. The college did not become aware of the investigation until Marshall’s arrest on Wednesday, according to the statement.
  • At no time have investigating officers called into question Thomas More College or Marshall’s role as Campus Safety Director, Armstrong said. "To make any conjecture or speculation between Marshall’s role on our campus and the current charges is unfounded and inappropriate," Armstrong said.
  • Based on communication with the Covington Police Department on Thursday morning, Thomas More College understands that Marshall’s personal home computer was confiscated from his Covington residence in January 2014, Armstrong said.

Armstrong added that Steffen told him and the campus leadership that Marshall's computer had been in the possession of a forensic examiner for the duration of that time between the computer's confiscation and Marshall's arrest on Wednesday. According to the statement issued by Thomas More College, there was never any evidence or indcators that compelled the Covington Police to broaden the investigation beyond Marshall's home in Covington.

Marshall was hired by the Crestview Hills college in 1999 and had been director of campus safety since 2003. On Wednesday it was announced that Marshall was placed on administrative leave but on Thursday, Armstrong said that Marshall had been fired. The college will not answer any further questions about Marshall's employment, Armstrong said.

The Thomas More safety model consists of paid campus safety officers on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TMC is within the jurisdiction of the Lakeside Park/Crestview Hills Police Department and the campus has had a positive long-standing relationship with the LPCH force, a news release stated. “Our officers patrol the campus and provide any necessary police response. While our department works with multiple entities within TMC, including their safety department, on a variety of issues, any law enforcement accountability is ours,” said Lakeside Park/Crestview Hills Police Chief Christopher Schutte, in a statement.

-Staff report

Photo: Thomas More College (via Facebook)