UND family medicine department chair arrested for possession, distribution of child porn

GRAND FORKS – A University of North Dakota department chairman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

A police investigation found Internet Protocol (IP) addresses allegedly associated with Robert William Beattie, 55, of Grand Forks, had been active in disseminating child pornography, according to a news release issued Thursday by the Grand Forks Police Department. The investigation came after police received a tip in June from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children “in regards to child pornography being possessed, manufactured or distributed.”

Grand Forks Police Lt. Brett Johnson said Beattie is the chairman of the Family and Community Medicine Department at UND.

“We are aware that an arrest has been made on campus,” UND spokesman Peter Johnson wrote in an email. “We will have no further comment while this works its way through the legal system.”

Johnson confirmed Beattie had been put on administrative leave. Beattie was not in the office Thursday afternoon, and a message left at his home phone was not returned.

Search warrants were served at Beattie’s Desiree Drive home and workplace by the Grand Forks Police Department, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, UND Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations.

The police news release notes that the case “remains an open and active investigation.” Charges had not been officially filed as of late Thursday afternoon, according to a Grand Forks County State’s Attorney official.

Beattie became the chairman of what was then known as the Department of Family Medicine at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences in 2006. When his appointment was announced in 2005, he was chief of the family medicine and obstetrics-gynecology services and chief of staff at West River Regional Medical Center in Hettinger, N.D., according to a UND news article.

Beattie is a Garrison, N.D., native and a UND alumnus, according to Herald archives. He was also serving his second year as the president of the North Dakota Medical Association when he accepted the UND job.

In 2009, he was selected to lead the search committee to find the next director of UND’s Center of Rural Health, according to Herald archives.

Family medicine is “concerned with the total health care of the individual and the family, and is trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of ailments in patients of all ages,” according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Source: http://www.inforum.com/news/3812561-und-family-medicine-department-chair-arrested-possession-distribution-child-porn