Former UI music teacher allegedly distributed meth and possessed child pornography

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The university’s music department sent a statement to students in the department on Tuesday regarding the charges.


Editor’s Note: This article briefly mentions instances of sexual misconduct and harassment, including alleged non-consensual sexual acts.

John Muriello, a retired professor from the University of Iowa School of Music, faces federal charges of possession of child pornography and distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death.

The singing and opera teacher, 65, allegedly possessed thousands of sexually explicit photos and videos, many of them minors, on electronic devices seized by the Iowa City Police Department in 2021.

Muriello is being held in Muscatine County Jail without bond, and his trial is scheduled for Dec. 5 in Davenport.

Tammie Walker, director of the UI School of Music, wrote in a statement sent to students in the music department on Tuesday evening that the school is providing support and resources following news of the investigation of the iowa police on Muriello.

“The university takes these allegations very seriously and encourages anyone with information or concerns to contact CIPD“Wrote Walker. “I realize that this news may be upsetting, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance.

10-page search warrant sheds light on allegations

Iowa City police served a search warrant on May 28, 2021 at Muriello’s home and seized several electronic items, including his phone, computer and electronic storage devices, according to a police search warrant request. of Iowa City.

Police found 18,580 photos and 3,183 videos on an electronic storage device, including more than a thousand, including underage boys.

Police also said they seized methamphetamine from the residence. There was also a search of Muriello’s trash on Nov. 20, 2020, according to the search warrant. The search would have found “numerous syringes and needles, indica and sachets”.

Police discovered that several media files containing child pornography had been reported and child pornography had been located on an electronic storage device after searching Muriello’s computer.

The allegations date back to 2020

On April 10, 2020, UI reportedly received an email from a parent of a first-year UI student regarding Muriello. The writer claimed that their son allegedly attended a party at Murrielo’s Iowa City residence, where Murrielo allegedly provided methamphetamines and used gamma-hydroxybutyrate to “drug partygoers into having sex with them,” according to a search warrant request.

Gamma-hydroxybutyrateprescribed as Xyrem, is also known as a common “date-rape drug”.

The parent’s email also claimed that Muriello allegedly sought out young adults and teenagers as young as 17 for sex. Additionally, the relative wrote that the professor allegedly recorded sex acts with people, and that he had an “extensive” collection of child pornography on multiple devices in his residence.

The warrant request lists another report from an alleged 19-year-old UI student who developed a relationship with Muriello. Muriello allegedly supplied methamphetamine to this student and had non-consensual sex with the student on several occasions.

The student also reportedly said he saw younger adult men at the professor’s residence and saw him watching child pornography on his computer.

Eleanor Hildebrandt and Ryan Hansen contributed to this report.

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