Former Missouri university official pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

Guilty Plea News Graphic

A former official at a Missouri university pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal possession of child pornography charge.

Neil Anthony Outar, 44, of Rolla, could face up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both at his sentencing hearing, set for March 14.

The investigation began when the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department received a CyberTip about child pornography being uploaded to a Gmail account between Nov. 2, 2020, and Dec. 23, 2021. A detective determined the IP address used to upload the images was serviced by the Missouri University of Science and Technology and traced the IP address to Outar, who was the university’s chief diversity officer at the time, Outar’s plea agreement says.

On Feb. 9, 2021, court-authorized searches were conducted of Outar’s home and office. Outar told detectives that he viewed child sexual abuse material. Investigators found child pornography in two of Outar’s email accounts and determined that child pornography had been deleted from Outar’s home and work computers.

The case was investigated by the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department and Homeland Security Investigations.