University wifi security leads to arrest of former student

Haley Mullen, Editor-In-Chief

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Former University student Nedim A. Kocagil was released from Union County police custody on April 4, after posting $2,500 of his $25,000 bail. Kocagil, who withdrew from the University in September 2018, was a member of the class of 2020. He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Richard Cashman and charged with 22 counts of possessing child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

 

An investigation of Kocagil was launched on Sept. 6 after the University informed the authorities of suspicious activity which set off a security alert on the University’s wireless internet service. Kocagil was interviewed by Trooper Adrian Bordner of the Pennsylvania State Police Computer Crime Unit on Sept. 12 after Bordner received a warrant for Kocagil’s computer that same day. The questioning of Kocagil and examination of his computer took place at Hulley House, which is University substance-free affinity housing. Kocagil officially withdrew from the University the following day.

 

In a statement issued on behalf of both Chief of Public Safety Steve Barilar and Chief Information Security Officer Chris Bernard, University Chief Communications Officer Andy Hirsch said, “Upon becoming aware of the possible criminal behavior, Bucknell promptly referred the matter to the Pennsylvania State Police in September 2018, which we do on occasion; that’s not unique to this case … I can confirm that the suspect in this case has not been enrolled at Bucknell since September 2018.”

 

Kocagil initially denied purposefully viewing child pornography during the time of the security alert, which was triggered by Kocagil accessing websites and files suspected of containing illegal imagery from August 24 through September 5. According to “The Daily Item,” the files on his laptop contained children ranging from infancy to age nine.

 

The files, which contained over 4,000 child pornography images and videos, were found in a password-encrypted file which Kocagil confessed to possessing after being questioned by Bordner.

 

Kocagil is a resident of Irvine, Calif. and was a double-major in political science and history prior to his withdrawal from the University. He was also the Vice President of Activities at Hulley House.

 

Kocagil waived a preliminary hearing, resulting in the case being forwarded to Union County Court. The formal arraignment has been scheduled for April 29. If convicted, Kocagil could face up to 20 years in prison. According to “The Daily Item,” this arrest was the third related to child pornography in the Susquehanna Valley in a two-week period in September.

 

This story was originally reported by “The Daily Item.”

If you have any information regarding the exploitation of children, please contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or at www.missingkids.org.

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