University of Hawaii professor arrested by FBI on child porn charges

A University of Hawaii engineering professor was arrested this afternoon for possession and distribution of child pornography.

  • Beei Huan Chao, 61, was arrested without incident and faces up to 20 years imprisonment for each violation
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Chao on Thursday & he was released on $50,000 unsecured bond
  • He has 30 days to post $250,000 secured bond or he will be incarcerated pending trial
  • Chao was placed on paid administrative leave as of Thursday & is cooperating with authorities
  • A federal grand jury indictment was unsealed on August 4 charges Chao with one count of distributing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, approximately 14 videos were discovered
  • The indictment says that Chao knowingly transported and shipped the child pornography in February
  • Generally, the charge carries a minimum punishment of 5 years in prison with a maximum of 20 years, while the possession charge carries a maximum 20-year sentence because it involved minors under the age of 12

The evidence against him is very strong. – U.S Attorney Michael Nammar

  • Attorney for Chao argued that his client is not a flight risk due to the fact that he has been in the islands since 1981 and is an American citizen with full-time employment
  • Chao is a mechanical engineering professor at UH-Manoa
  • While he awaits trial, Chao was ordered by the court not to have any contact with any person under the age of 18, including contact by phone, written or electronically