NYU suspends professor after learning of child porn conviction

Robert Ginsberg, a real estate professor, is a registered sex offender in New York state. That didn’t stop him from continuing to teach at NYU until earlier this week.


Qianshan Weng

(Qianshan Weng for WSN)

Abby Wilson and Arnav Binaykia

NYU suspended a real estate professor on Saturday, after finding that he is a registered sex offender. Robert Ginsberg, an adjunct professor at the Schack Institute of Real Estate at NYU’s School of Professional Studies, was convicted of possessing and promoting child pornography in December of 2015. He has been on the New York state sex offender registry since.

John Beckman, a spokesperson for the university, told the New York Post that Ginsberg, who was actively teaching graduate students this semester, has been suspended. He will not teach at the university until the situation is reviewed. Beckman added that NYU did not know about Ginsberg’s conviction, which occurred after the university hired him. The professor taught at an NYU building in midtown Manhattan this semester.

Ginsberg pleaded guilty to two felonies — possessing and promoting child pornography — and was sentenced to 10 years of probation in March 2016. The New York Post reported that Ginsberg’s lawyer said his probation concluded this March.

“I’ve been teaching there for 15 years and I’d like to be able to continue to teach there,” Ginsberg told the Post. “I’ve done everything I can to try to make my amends. It’s understandable why someone doesn’t want to bring up their past when it’s not relevant to the job they’re performing.”

The professor exhibited an “extremely troubling and longstanding history of obsessive behavior regarding child pornography,” according to his court decision, filed by the Westchester County Clerk.

Ginsberg is designated as a Level 2 sex offender, meaning that by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services definition, he has a “moderate risk of repeat offense.” Level 2 sex offenders remain on the sex offender registry for life and can only petition to be removed after 30 years on the registry.

The professor also told the Post that he was not required to tell NYU about his convictions. He also said that he told the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services, the organization that runs the sex offender registry, that he teaches at the university.

Ginsberg’s faculty profile has been taken down from the SPS website.

Contact Abby Wilson at [email protected] and Arnav Binaykia at [email protected].