Photo by Heather Middleton
By Kathy Jefcoats
A suspended Georgia Tech associate professor faces more than 200 counts of child sexual exploitation in Fulton and Clayton counties after grand jurors convened in both counties this week.
Faiz A. Al-Khayyal, of Atlanta, was arrested in August 2009 on multiple counts of child sexual exploitation, and booked into the Fulton County Jail. He made a $225,000 bond three days later and was released.
A Fulton grand jury indicted him, Tuesday, on 172 counts of allegedly having child pornographic images on his work-issued laptop. Clayton County's grand jury met Wednesday, and indicted him on an additional 29 counts.
The indictments allege that Al-Khayyal, an associate professor at Georgia Tech, had digital images that included minor females in sexually explicit scenes. The scenes included a girl wearing only a necklace, a nude girl holding a whip in her mouth, a girl sitting nude on a mirror, and a girl, bound and naked, sitting on a toilet, the Clayton County indictment alleges.
Prosecutors with the Georgia Attorney General's Office presented the case to the Clayton grand jury. Although Al-Khayyal lives, and worked, in Atlanta, state spokeswoman, Lauren Kane, said Clayton County also has jurisdiction, because the laptop with images was seized as Al-Khayyal came through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Much of the airport is in Clayton County.
Prior to his 2009 arrest, Al-Khayyal was suspended without pay for violating the university's computer-use policy. When Tech officials discovered illicit activity on the computer, they called law enforcement.
Kane said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation led the probe, headed up by Agent Vaughn Estes. Assistant Attorney General Laura Pfister is prosecuting the case.
Tech spokeswoman, Lisa Ray Grovenstein, said Al-Khayyal remains on suspension without pay. She could not say at what point he could be terminated.
"There is a process, but it all depends on the outcome," she said. "We are cooperating with authorities."
A native of Saudi Arabia, Al-Khayyal earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in the United States. After his 1979 marriage to an American, the couple moved to his native country, where husband and wife worked for Arabian American Oil Co.
Al-Khayyal took the position at the Georgia Tech School of Industrial and Systems Engineering in 1980. He is the father of a son and a daughter.