Trial postponed second time for former UI professor facing child pornography, meth distribution charges

The federal trial for former University of Iowa School of Music professor John Muriello was postponed until March 27.


Mug of John Muriello.

Sabine Martin, Managing Editor

The federal trial of former University of Iowa School of Music professor John Muriello was postponed for a second time until March.

Muriello, 65, faces charges of child pornography possession and methamphetamine distribution that resulted in death. The trial was set to begin Feb. 6 but was postponed until March 27 at 9 a.m. in the U.S. Courthouse in Davenport. 

He was arrested after the Iowa City Police Department reportedly found thousands of sexually explicit photos and videos with minors in May 2021 on Muriello’s devices. 

At the university, Muriello was a tenured emeritus voice and opera professor. He was placed on leave in May 2021 by the UI and retired July 1, 2022. 

Starting in 2019, several tips were filed to law enforcement about Muriello. 

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Muriello instructed several in-person and online classes from fall 2019 to spring 2021, according to UI class enrollment records. 

The UI received an anonymous email on April 10, 2020, from a reported UI parent of a student who wrote that Muriello recorded sex acts with their child, provided them methamphetamine and a date rape drug, and that Muriello possessed child pornography.  

In addition, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip in 2019 that a Zoom user, reportedly Muriello, shared child pornography via the video-sharing platform.