BREAKING: Finance chair Thomas Coe confronted by anti-child abuse activist, on leave from the university

By on November 14, 2018

Screenshot of the POPsquad video of Tom.

Quinnipiac finance department chair Thomas S. Coe is placed on leave with the university after being confronted by an anti-child abuse activist who said they have record of him chatting explicitly with a volunteer from the website POPsquad posing as a 14-year-old child. They claimed he had come to the house in order to meet the 14-year-old.

“This is a personnel matter. He was placed on leave and is not on campus, pending an investigation,” Lynn Bushnell, Quinnipiac vice president for public affairs, said.

Students who have Coe as a professor received an email from Donna Cretella from Quinnipiac’s School of Business stating, “Good morning, Professor Coe’s Finance 360 class at 5:00 today is cancelled.”

“Coe was a very knowledgeable professor who cared about his students,” junior finance major Anthony Russo said. “I was absolutely shocked about the allegations against Professor Coe. The video [on POPsquad] left me speechless.”

An hour-long video was posted to the website POPsquad and to its Facebook page on Nov. 12 that appears to show Coe inside a house being questioned about the incident. The questioner, who is not identified, refers to the individual as Tom, says he is a teacher and says he was lured to the home by volunteers posing as the 14-year-old.

POPsquad describes the video on its website as the following: “Tom, better known as #130, came out at 11:50 PM to meet what he believed to be a 14-year-old boy after having a sexually explicit conversation.”

The individual in the video appears to be the gray-haired, bearded Coe, who has an unusual birthmark on the right side of his face as in his Quinnipiac University Faculty Profile photo.

The Chronicle called Coe at his Meriden home, but the older male who answered hung up without responding. When The Chronicle emailed Coe at his Quinnipiac email address, it received an automated reply stating: “Thank you for your call or email. Please contact Dean Matt O’Connor at Matthew.O’Connor@qu.edu or 203-582-8297 for assistance.”

A Meriden Police spokesman said the department had no knowledge of the incident.

POPsquad describes itself on its website as “a movement that protects our innocent children from internet predators. We aim to not only expose these repeat offenders & unknown individuals, but also attempt to ‘get into the their minds’ and find some type of answers for their actions & compulsions.”

Stay with The Chronicle as more information becomes available.

LAST UPDATE: 11/15/18 2:32 p.m. 

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