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Child porn charges filed against Sri Lankan student at University of Georgia

University scrubbed him from its websites

A University of Georgia chemistry graduate student from Sri Lanka remains held in prison on allegations of child pornography as of April 18.

Georgia law enforcement first arrested doctoral student Dinesh Balasooriyah (right) in March after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to a police report obtained by The College Fix.

Balasooriyah faces five charges of “possessing and controlling any material depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct.”

Facebook first flagged the alleged child pornography after it “discovered one of their users forwarded a child pornography video clip to another user,” the police report stated.

“The investigation determined that no photos or videos discovered during this investigation were taken or recorded on the University of Georgia campus,” the report stated.

UGA spokespersons Gregory Trevor and Rod Guajardo have not responded to two emailed requests for comment sent in the past two weeks that asked about Balasooriyah’s current status at the university.

They also did not answer a question about Balasooriyah’s citizenship status, though he appears to have immigrated here from Sri Lanka.

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His LinkedIn profile lists both English and the Sri Lankan language of “Sinhala” under the “languages” section. An archived version of a UGA website says that Balasooriyah is from Gampaha, Sri Lanka. He is the president of the public university’s Sri Lankan Student Association.

His name has been scrubbed from the chemistry department website. He previously obtained his undergraduate degree in Sri Lanka before attending Eastern Illinois University.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department did not answer questions about the next court date and the suspect’s citizenship status. The Fix asked Shannon Parker, the department’s lead on sexual assault cases, public information coordinator Geoffrey Gilland and Lieutenant Shaun Barnett for information but the agency deferred to the university.

The Fix could not find an attorney for Balasooriyah. The UGA student did not respond to two inquiries sent to his school email in the past two weeks. The Fix asked how he planned to plea.

The Fix contacted Facebook’s press email on April 1 and April 4 to ask about the procedure the company follows when it finds pornographic material, but the social media company did not respond.

The College Fix also contacted the NCMEC to ask about its reporting procedures but a representative declined to answer beyond sharing a link to a general page about the center’s CyberTipline.

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IMAGE: DineshBalasooriyah/LinkedIn

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Gigi De La Torre is a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville studying English with a concentration in writing and a minor in political science. She is a member of the Center for Leadership as well as the Great Books Honors Program. She is a member of the women’s soccer team.