Huntsville man, on leave from UAH job, faces more child sex crime charges in Cullman County

Michael Lee McGinnis

Michael Lee McGinnis was initially charged with 18 counts of child porn possession in Cullman County.

Posted: Sep 22, 2021 4:11 PM
Updated: Sep 22, 2021 5:17 PM

A Huntsville man arrested twice by the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office now faces more charged related to child sex crimes.

Michael McGinnis, who is a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has been arrested for “committing sex acts with a minor, possessing child pornography, and providing drugs to a minor,” Cullman County District Attorney Wilson Blaylock said in a news release.

McGinnis first was arrested by the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 25 for attempting to unlawfully distribute a controlled substance, chemical endangerment of a child, and criminal solicitation to commit a controlled substance crime, Blaylock said.

McGinnis’ cell phone was examined, and the sheriff’s office said it discovered 18 images of child pornography. He then was charged with 18 counts of possession of obscene matter.

Blaylock said further investigation led to McGinnis being arrested Monday and charged with traveling to meet a child for sex acts, electronic solicitation of a child, sodomy and enticing a child for immoral purposes.

His bond was set at $270,000.

“First and foremost, I want to thank the concerned citizen for providing the initial information that led to the arrest of this predator,” Blaylock said in the release.

“I also want to thank the deputies and investigators at the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office for their diligence in continuing with further investigations into McGinnis’ disturbing conduct. Our office will prosecute McGinnis for these charges, and we will continue to work with investigators and make decisions on whether any additional charges should be issued.”

UAH said in a statement to WAAY 31 Tuesday afternoon that upon learning of the criminal charges against McGinnis, "officials promptly placed him on leave, removed him from all teaching and administrative duties, and prohibited him from returning to campus and contacting members of the campus community."

By Tuesday evening, McGinnis had been removed from the UAH faculty and staff page for the English department, where he had been serving as a professor and student advisor.

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