Chico State historian arrested for child pornography


Jacob Collier

Kendall Hall, on the Chico State campus.

Chico State History Professor Laird Easton was arrested by the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Jan. 21 on the charge of possessing child pornography. 

Easton, a prominent historian, has been suspended from teaching and campus activities at this time, said Chico State Media Relations Coordinator Sean Murphy. 

“We are cooperating with the DA’s investigation and the employee has been suspended from teaching and campus activities until further notice,” Murphy said. “The University encourages anyone with knowledge about this case or any instance of child exploitation or abuse to contact the Butte County District Attorney’s office. Any questions about the charges or ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the DA’s office.”

The Orion also reached out to Easton but received an automated email response: “Dr. Easton is on leave. Please contact Department Chair Robert Tinkler if you have questions about classes.”

This investigation is ongoing. The Orion will update this story as more information emerges.

This story has been updated to note that Professor Easton has not been charged by the DA’s office. The following quote was removed: “The University has learned that one of its employees, Laird Easton, has been charged by the Butte County District Attorney in a child pornography investigation,” Murphy said.