Dartmouth Professor Arrested

A Dartmouth College professor who was arrested at his Plainfield home Thursday morning is accused of possessing videos depicting the sexual abuse of children.

J. Martin Favor, 49, was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail following a hearing in Claremont District Court Friday morning, according to court officials.

No plea was entered on Favor’s behalf in response to the five complaints, which resulted from an investigation led by federal officials. The complaints relate to five videos showing child sex abuse that Favor allegedly had in his possession at his home.

Affidavits detailing the investigation were sealed. The complaints said the victims in the videos included several prepubescent boys and a girl.

A probable cause hearing was scheduled for Sept. 14.

Favor has worked at Dartmouth for 22 years, according to the college. His Dartmouth website directory page identifies him as an associate professor of English whose “primary interests” are in 20th-century African-American fiction, cultural studies and “theorizing identity.”

He formerly chaired the African-American studies department.

A college spokeswoman said in an emailed statement Friday that Favor has been placed on paid administrative leave and banned from campus.

“We have no reason to believe that the charges he faces have any connection to his employment at Dartmouth; however, we have notified him that he is prohibited from entering Dartmouth property,” said Diana Lawrence, director for media relations.

The complaints allege that the offenses of possessing the videos took place at Favor’s home.

Favor’s attorney, Charlie Buttrey, declined to comment directly on Favor’s response to the allegations during a phone interview Friday afternoon. Buttrey said he had been retained shortly before the morning’s arraignment, which Buttrey attended via teleconference.

“I am grateful to be part of a judicial system that presumes innocence,” Buttrey said.

Attempts to reach Favor at his home and via email on Friday were unsuccessful.

Favor’s conditions of release preclude him from having unsupervised contact with minors under the age of 18, according to court documents. He also cannot travel outside New Hampshire, among other conditions.

Plainfield police Chief Paul Roberts said his department assisted state and federal officials in executing a federal search warrant at Favor’s home on Mill Village Road at about 7:45 a.m. Thursday.

Roberts said Favor was taken into custody without incident and held overnight at the Sullivan County House of Corrections until his arraignment.

Roberts said the investigation was overseen by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program. Homeland Security and New Hampshire State Police also were on scene.

Attempts to reach officials on the case from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program were unsuccessful.

The Friday morning hearing was prosecuted by a state police trooper. It was not clear on Friday who would prosecute the case going forward.

Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway declined to comment because the case has not been referred to his office.

Favor’s Dartmouth biography said that he is working on a travel narrative about sites associated with the transatlantic slave trade and how they have become tourist attractions, and a project on African-American post-modernisms.

By Friday evening, public access to Favor’s faculty page on the dartmouth.edu website had been denied.

The Huffington Post has at least six essays attributed to Favor, mostly related to issues of race.

Maggie Cassidy can be reached at mcassidy@vnews.com.

Correction

A search warrant was executed at J. Martin Favor’s home in Plainfield on Mill Village Road. An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect name for the road.

 

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