ANN ARBOR, MI — A University of Michigan researcher is facing child pornography charges after authorities say he shared a video of a young girl engaged in a sex act with a dog and other disturbing images.
Michael Zeidler, 48, has worked at the University of Michigan since 1999, and is alleged to have shared images of young children being sexually abused as well as recording foreign exchange students in his home, and using those videos to pleasure himself.
Zeidler worked on animals at a research lab at the university, and according to the FBI, he was using a work computer to view and share child porn.
Simultaneous FBI raids were conducted at Zeidler’s University of Michigan research office, and his Ann Arbor home, all related to child pornography.
According to these federal charging documents, the investigation began in November when an undercover detective was able to downloaded more than 400 images of child erotica, 187 images of child pornography and 51 child pornography videos from someone who was sharing them on a peer-to-peer network using two different IP addresses.
“Based on information provided by the FBI about the dates and times of the logins, as well as the source, port, and destination information, the University of Michigan was able to identify the internet user for both of the IP addresses at issue as Michael Zeidler,” according to FBI agent Susan Lucas.
Court documents show Zeidler allegedly confessed to downloading child porn as far back as 2012. And at his Ann Arbor home, he allegedly filmed foreign exchange students in the bathroom without their knowledge, and would later use the videos to pleasure himself. In a statement provided to Action News by Michigan Medicine, a spokesperson says Zeidler’s “job did not involve patient care.”
The statement went on to read: “We have cooperated fully with law enforcement on this investigation and will continue to do so. Zeidler was hired in August 1999 and is currently on suspension.”
Zeidler also admitted to also recording his kids’ play dates, according to documents. However, he said he deleted those videos. He is currently in jail with a hearing scheduled for Wednesday in federal court.