Methodist University religion professor accused of sending child porn to detective

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — A professor of religion at Methodist University in Fayetteville was arrested and charged after sending a Cary police officer child pornography, according to an arrest warrant.

Steven Phillip Brey, 53, of the 5700 block of Danville Drive, has been charged with 18 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. According to an arrest warrant, Brey sent a Cary police detective 18 different video files consisting of preteen children engaged in sexual activity, most of them with adults, back in May 2015.

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Cary police told CBS North Carolina that their cybercrimes unit are able to tell when child pornography files are being transferred and they got a “ping” on some of the files coming from a computer in the area. The computer turned out to be Brey’s.

According to his profile on the Methodist University website, Brey, who is listed as an associate professor of religion, specializes in “…the early Church and his areas of academic interest include Biblical studies and the history of Christianity. His current research interests involve Origen’s understanding of salvation in his Commentary on the Gospel of John and St. Augustine’s Tractates on John.”

Kevin Hoffman, the chair of the religion department at Methodist, “classes will continue under the guidance of other instructors with minimal disruption.”

According to his profile on the website, Brey has degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University, Yale University, Emory University and has a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

Records show that Brey was arrested on the campus of Methodist University on Wednesday. Cary police said authorities in Fayetteville and university police assisted in the arrest.

The 18 charges Brey faces are only for the files sent to the detective in Cary. Police said they anticipate there could be more charges filed in Fayetteville.

He is being held in the Wake County Detention Center under a $1 million secured bond.

He is scheduled to be in court this afternoon.

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