U of M professor arrested on child exploitation charges

An associate professor who taught at the University of Minnesota was arrested Friday in connection with alleged child exploitation in Louisiana.

Woody Dale Branton, 62, was arrested at his home in Minneapolis and later appeared in federal district court in St. Paul.

Court documents list Branton's offense in charges filed from the Western District of Louisiana as "Enticing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct; Production of child pornography."

Branton has worked at the University of Minnesota since Sept. 1, 1988. He's an associate professor in the department of neuroscience, according to University of Minnesota spokesperson Chuck Tombarge. University officials are reviewing Branton's employment status in light of the charges.

Branton will be kept in custody for a detention and removal hearing that is set for March 12 at the U.S. courthouse in St. Paul, according to court documents.

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