Antonio Lasaga was a professor of geology and geophysics at Yale University, and the house master of Saybrook College, one of Yale's residential colleges.

In 1998, two graduate students reported to the FBI that Lasaga had been downloading child pornography and storing it on his workstation at Yale. Based on their claims, FBI agents obtained a warrant and searched Lasaga's hard drive.

There they found "hundreds of graphic image files," including "images...of a nude young Latino boy in various poses" and images that "included sexual contact between young boys and adult males."


They further confirmed that Lasaga had been in the lab when some of the files had been downloaded. When the FBI confronted Lasaga with their findings, he admitted his guilt. The resulting formal complaint from the Bureau read in part

During the course of the search, I interviewed Antonia Lasaga who informed me...that he had been downloading child pornographic images from the Internet for approximately two years.

The sordid tale did not end there. It soon became clear that Lasaga had taken an 11-year-old New Haven boy under his wing so that he could mentor him, but instead videotaped himself raping the kid.

In 2000, Lasaga pleaded guilty to posessing over 150,000 pornographic images on his various computers, plus two videotapes of himself with the New Haven kid. 150,000 images? If he looked a photo every five seconds, eight hours a day, it would take 26 days just to look at all that porn. If Lasaga looked at pictures for only half an hour during his daily wank, he could have wanked for over 416 days before he had to repeat himself. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for this.

The same month, the good professor pleaded no contest to charges that he had raped the young boy he should have been mentoring. The court stuck him with 20 years for this crime, to be served concurrently with the other sentence.

Lasaga's lawyers successfully appealed the sentencing of the first set of charges, arguing (1) that the pictures Lasaga possessed were computer-generated rather than photographs, and therefore protected by the first amendment, and (2) that the sentence exceeded federal sentencing guidelines of 11-12 years. Their arguments carried the day and this sentence is being reconsidered.

Lasaga has been locked up in a federal penitentiary in Cumberland, Maryland since shortly after his sentencing, which has understandably hurt his ability to complete his responsibilities as a professor at Yale.

However, revoking tenure is difficult at any university and, since 1969 or possibly earlier, Yale has never done it. The process requires that University Tribunal vote on the revocation, and the Tribunal can not even been convened unless there has been a "severe infraction that disrupts the University community". However, in March of 2001, Yale pulled the plug on Lasaga, making him the first professor to lose tenure at Yale in many decades.

Partial Antonio Lasaga bibliography

Calculation of fluid fluxes in earth's crust. Antonio C. Lasaga, Danny M. Rye, Andreas Luttge, and Edward W. Bolton (2001), geochimica et cosmochimica acta 65, 1161-1185.

Interferometric study of the dolomite dissolution: a new conceptual model for mineral dissolution. Author(s): A. Lttge; U. Winkler; A.C. Lasaga. Source: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Year: 2003 Volume: 67 Number: 6 Pages: 1099-1116

The oxygen geochemical cycle: dynamics and stability. Author(s): A.C. Lasaga; H. Ohmoto. Source: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (Elsevier Science) Year: 2002 Volume: 66 Number: 3 Pages: 361-381.

For other Yale scandals, visit the Porn 'N Chicken node.

Yale Herald. December 4, 1998
Yale Alumni Magazine. May 2001
Hartford Courant. February 14, 2002
New York Times. May 13, 2003

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