- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - A former award-winning contemporary literature professor has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he distributed, received and possessed child pornography.

Fifty-seven-year-old Kirk Nesset resigned from Allegheny College in Meadville after he was arrested Oct. 1. He was indicted by a federal grand jury and on Wednesday entered the not guilty plea at his arraignment before a federal magistrate in Erie.

According to an FBI complaint, an agent traced computer files shared in a peer-to-peer network to Nesset’s computer address in August. Authorities say a search of Nesset’s external hard drive revealed thousands of images and movies, some showing men having sex with girls.

Nesset’s attorneys didn’t immediately comment.

Nesset won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize in 2007 for a collection of short stories called “Paradise Road.” It’s given annually by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

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