March 6, 2020

USA: LGBT Activist Profiled In Media For Adopting A Child With His Husband Was Arrested And Charged On Suspicion Of Possessing Child Pornography. He's An Executive Director At UC Berkeley

written by Staff
January 17, 2020

BERKELEY — The University of California at Berkeley’s executive director of financial planning and analysis was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of a misdemeanor charge of possessing child pornography, police said.

Jon Bain-Chekal, 49, was released from Berkeley’s jail later on Thursday, which is standard protocol for misdemeanor offenses, according to police.

The investigation into Bain-Chekal began after the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip about child pornography from an online account, according to Berkeley police spokesman Officer Byron White.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Concord Police Department and members from Contra Costa County’s District Attorney’s Office and sheriff’s office assisted in the investigation.

White said the online account was created and accessed from Bain-Chekal’s residence and work.

He said a search warrant on the online account revealed additional images of child pornography and additional search warrants were served at Bain-Chekal’s residence and work.

White said child pornography images were recovered from a laptop during the search warrant and when Bain-Chekal was interviewed he admitted to viewing and possessing child pornography.

UC Berkeley’s website lists Bain-Chekal as being the executive director of the university’s financial planning and analysis.

His team is responsible for managing the Berkeley campus’s budgetary resources in support of instruction, research and public service, according to the university website.

A UC Berkeley spokeswoman said, “The campus is in the process of putting Jon Bain-Chekal on administrative investigatory leave. As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot provide additional information at this time.”
Berkleyside UC Berkley News reported 1/16/2020: Update, 6:45 p.m. UC Berkeley “is in the process of putting Jon Bain-Chekal on administrative investigatory leave,” Diana Harvey, Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications & Public Affairs, told Berkeleyside in a prepared statement. “As this is an ongoing investigation, no additional information will be provided.”
I took a screenshot of US Berkley website that shows Jon Bain-Chekal still employed there. (emphasis mine)
written by Staff
January 22, 2020

The UC Berkeley finance director was recently arrested for possessing child pornography, but the media has been curiously quiet on a related matter, he’s also an LGBTQ activist who with his husband adopted a young boy some years ago.

Jon Bain-Chekal, 49, who oversees Cal-Berkeley’s operating budget, was placed on administrative leave, the university announced in a terse statement, after Berkeley Police arrested him in connection with a child pornography investigation.

The BPD investigation, which is ongoing, began with a tip from Internet Crimes Against Children and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The agencies “received a cyber tip regarding child pornography from an online account. The account was created and accessed from Jon Bain-Chekal’s residence and work,” Berkeley Police spokesman Officer Byron White said Thursday.

Police said Bain-Chekal admitted, during an interview, that he had viewed and possessed child pornography. He was cited for a misdemeanor and released.

Omitted from the California coverage of the arrest, however, is Bain-Chekal’s background, reported with much fanfare in the past.

In 2004, the university published an article celebrating faculty and staff whose enthusiasm for “civil rights” led them to take advantage of San Francisco’s pioneering recognition of same-sex marriage:
Jon Bain-Chekal, who works as an organizational consultant for the Center for Organizational Effectiveness, said that the decision to say ‘I do’ to his partner of ten years, Mark Chekal-Bain, was “a nice personal confirmation.” The two, both Cal alumni, had already exchanged vows in a ceremony with family and friends in 1999. They also registered as domestic partners with the City of Berkeley the previous year, and with the state when that option became available.
Some years later, in an article titled ‘Inspired by one small boy, a Berkeley father wins new UC parental-leave policy, ‘the university again featured Bain-Chekal, along with his partner and their their recently adopted child, a newborn boy.

Bain-Chekal spoke about the need for “more progressive parental-leave policies that don’t focus on the 1950s version of family.”

The UC-Berkeley story celebrated the “Bain-Chekals on the extraordinary journey that is parenthood. It also marked the launching point of the two fathers’ relentless quest to persuade the University of California to adopt a parental-leave policy for its unrepresented staff.”

It cited years of their activism to change the university’s parental leave policies to end discrimination against gay parents.

“We all recognize that children in their early years need their parents and their parents need time with them,” he argued. “Why make a distinction for giving physical birth or not? Why treat pregnant women differently?”

A fairer alternative, he proposed, was to have a policy that covered all parents equally.

“I always said it was one of the major equity and inclusion issues,” he says.

Eventually, Berkeley and the other University of California campuses adopted parental leave policies recommendations by Bain-Chekal’s focus group.

Last Thursday, Bain-Chekal was in the news again, but for non-celebratory reasons.

BPD said devices confiscated from Bain-Chekal “still need to be forensically searched.” Officer White said more charges could be added later. He didn’t say how many pornographic images or potential victims authorities have identified in connection with the case so far.

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