Ex-BGU professor wanted by FBI on child porn charges

FBI lists Tzvi Tzfira as a fugitive after a search of his Michigan home turned up dozens of child pornography photos; suspect denies charges.

By
October 27, 2011 22:06
1 minute read.
Ben-Gurion University.

ben gurion university building 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The FBI has listed a former biology professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev as a fugitive, following charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.

A search of Tzvi Tzfira’s house in Pittsfield Township, Michigan, near Ann Arbor, turned up dozens of photos of children ranging from less than a year old to 12 years old in sexual positions.

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The FBI has said that Tzfira, 43, is suspected of distributing the photos on online forums under the name ya2009. Due to the age of the children in the photos, if Tzfira is extradited back to the States he could face federal charges that carry a sentence of between 5 and 20 years. If convicted of distributing child porn, he faces a minimum of 15 years in prison.

Tzfira has denied the allegations against him. He was first charged in Detroit in February, after the FBI was tipped off by Italian investigators, who first came across the username ya2009 on an online forum.

Tzfira taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before returning to Israel recently.

In a statement, Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba said that Tzfira is no longer employed by the school.

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