Penn State Professor Accused Of Performing Lewd Acts With Dog In Rothrock State Forest
Update, 7:30 p.m.:
Matsoukas “has been relieved of his responsibilities and is on leave,” a Penn State spokesperson confirmed Wednesday night.
A State College man is facing charges after he was allegedly caught on camera performing lewd acts with a dog in Rothrock State Forest.
Themis Matsoukas, a 64-year-old Penn State professor of chemical engineering, was charged on Monday in Huntingdon County with misdemeanor counts of open lewdness, indecent exposure, and sexual intercourse with an animal, as well as summary counts of cruelty to animals and disorderly conduct.
A Penn State spokesperson has not responded to a request for comment and information about Matsoukas’s status with the university.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources ranger, the DCNR installed a trail camera in the parking lot of the Alan Seeger Natural Area in Jackson Township on April 12 to identify individuals who were stealing bags of hand sanitizer from public restrooms.
Around 8 p.m. the following day, the camera captured multiple brief videos that allegedly showed a man later identified as Matsoukas — who was naked, except for a ski mask, wrist watch, boots and backpack — masturbating near the women’s restroom and then engaging in a sexual act with a dog. The videos also showed that Matsoukas appeared to be recording himself with an iPad.
Matsoukas’s location was within viewing distance of a road frequently used by visitors to the Alan Seeger picnic area, leased camps, Penn Roosevelt State Park and the Greenwood Fire Tower, according to the affidavit.
Owners of two private camps surrounded by Rothrock also contacted state forest staff when they discovered images from their trail cameras of a man who was nude from the waist down, a ranger wrote. The six photos dated back as far as 2014 and investigators identified Matsoukas as the man in each, according to the affidavit.
Matsoukas again appeared on the DCNR trail camera on May 16 and he was identified by his vehicle registration.
Investigators executed a search warrant for Matsoukas’s State College-area home on June 9 and found an iPad, backpack, ski mask, watch and boots, all of which appeared to match those observed in the video. A dog at the home also had identical characteristics of the one in the video, according to the affidvait.
Matsoukas allegedly denied having the items when investigators first arrived, but then became upset and said “I do it to blow off steam.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 19.
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