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University of Michigan computer science professor charged with sex crime

UM fraternity council suspends events
Posted at 11:16 AM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 11:16:35-05

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ-TV) — Peter Chen, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan, was arraigned Wednesday on one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree. Court records show the alleged victim was under 13.

Chen, who was released on a personal recognizance bond from the Washtenaw County Jail, is due back in Ann Arbor's 15th District Court Feb. 4 at 9 a.m. for a probable cause hearing.

According to University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald, Chen was immediately placed on administrative leave following his arraignment.

“There is no indication that this matter is related to Professor Chen’s teaching or research at U of M," Fitzgerald said in a statement.

Chen's Winter 2021 teaching duties have been re-assigned according to Fitzgerald.

If convicted, Chen could face life behind bars.

The Ann Arbor Police Department is handling the investigation.

Chen's attorney Mariell Lehman released the following statement to Action News:

"On January 26, 2021 Mr. Chen was made aware of the criminal sexual conduct allegations that had been made against him. He completely denies the allegations and has cooperated fully with the Ann Arbor Police Department to assist them in their investigation. Mr. Chen is confident that the truth will prevail and that he will be exonerated fully. Mr. Chen thanks the numerous people who have reached out in support of him over the last few days.”