Crime Watch 8

Former Taylor University professor arrested on multiple child-sex charges

UPLAND, Ind. (WISH) — A former Taylor University professor was arrested Friday morning on multiple child-sex charges after an Indiana State Police investigation.

Jeffrey Marsee, 59, of Upland, is charged with a count of child molesting, two counts of child exploitation, and four counts of possession of child pornography in two separate criminal filings in Grant Superior Court 2 in Marion.

Marsee was a Taylor associate professor of kinesiology, the study of body movement. Upon discovery of the allegations in December, the university placed him on administrative leave and barred him from the campus of the Christian liberal arts college about 45 miles northeast of Indianapolis. State police said he was dismissed from his job Dec. 11.

In a news release, state police said an investigation found Marsee allegedly committed sexual acts with a boy age 12 to 13 between summer and fall of 2002 at a Grant County home.

“During a forensic examination of Marsee’s electronic devices, investigators allegedly located child pornography. Further investigation revealed evidence that in 2016 Marsee purportedly uploaded photos containing child pornography to a web-based chat group,” the release said.

On Friday afternoon, Marsee was listed as an inmate at the Grant County Jail in Marion. Bonds were set at $100,000 and $20,000, the state police said. An online court system on Friday afternoon said warrants were issued for Marsee’s arrest but did not report any court dates for his cases.

The university’s interim president, Paige Comstock Cunningham, said in an online post Friday that initial reports in the fall from the Upland Police Department were shared with Taylor University, which reported the allegations to the Indiana Department of Child Services. She said the university cooperated with local and state police.

“While the criminal investigation is not yet complete, the Indiana State Police have informed us that none of the individuals were students at Taylor when the alleged abuse took place,” the Taylor leader said in her online post. “We know it takes courage to come forward with information about possible sexual abuse, and are grateful for those who have offered information to aid in the investigation.”

Comstock Cunningham asked people to pray for the victims. She also said Taylor’s counseling center is available at 765-998-5222.

The Taylor leader said anyone with information about the case should contact one of three sources: Jeff Wallace, Taylor University Police chief at 765-998-7765; Skip Trudeau, Taylor University vice president of student development, at 765-998-5368; or Detective Joshua Miller of the state police at 765-475-8111.

Statement

“Dear Taylor Community,

“I write to you with an important update to a situation about which we reported last month regarding a former Taylor employee. Today, the Indiana State Police (ISP) announced the arrest of former Taylor professor Dr. Jeff Marsee. The full statement is available here

“The arrest follows an investigation that began last fall, which initially focused on allegations of sexual abuse. 

“This is difficult information to share. It is even more difficult to learn that a former member of our Taylor community has been charged with grievous harm to a child.

“As a reminder, the initial reports were made to the Upland Police Department and then shared with Taylor University.  Upon learning of the allegations, Taylor University placed Dr. Marsee on administrative leave and barred him from campus.  Taylor also reported the allegations to the Indiana Department of Child Protective Services, and then worked with local and state law enforcement to investigate the allegations. Taylor continues to fully cooperate with ISP.

“Given the gravity of the misconduct allegations, Taylor University has independently retained an outside firm of forensic experts to investigate the allegations of abuse.

“While the criminal investigation is not yet complete, the Indiana State Police have informed us that none of the individuals were students at Taylor when the alleged abuse took place.

“We know it takes courage to come forward with information about possible sexual abuse, and are grateful for those who have offered information to aid in the investigation. If you have relevant information about this or any other situation involving sexual abuse, we invite you to contact one of the sources below. Please know that you do not need to process this information alone. Our Counseling Center is available to assist (765.998.5222).

“Please join me in continuing to pray for the victims and all those who have been affected by this situation. Please also pray for the local community and for our campus community to be comforted and restored by the Holy Spirit.”

“Taylor University Police Chief Jeff Wallace (765.998.7765)

“Taylor University Vice President of Student Development Dr. Skip Trudeau (765.998.5368)

“Indiana State Police Detective Joshua Maller (765.475.8111)”

Paige Comstock Cunningham, interim president, Taylor University

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