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Journals Raised FBI’s Interest, Colleague’s Eyebrows

April 10, 1996

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) _ The FBI learned of a Nobel laureate’s alleged interest in child sexuality after a colleague gave copies of the scientist’s published journals to investigators, a prosecutor said.

An unidentified National Institutes of Health co-worker triggered the investigation by passing Dr. Daniel Carleton Gajdusek’s journals on to the Justice Department and the FBI, State’s Attorney Scott Rolle said Tuesday.

Gajdusek, 72, was charged last week with child abuse and perverted practices after a 23-year-old man said the scientist had sexually assaulted him numerous times from 1987 to 1991. The accuser, now a college student, was brought back from Micronesia by the researcher.

Gajdusek denies any wrongdoing and claims he brought more than 50 children to the United States over the last three decades to study their development and pay for their schooling.

Gajdusek returned to his home in rural Middletown on Monday after spending two days with friends who helped raise his $350,000 bail.

The journals, written by the Gajdusek during research trips to the South Pacific beginning in 1960, contained descriptions and musings about sex between men and boys in the Polynesian island tribes Gajdusek studied.

Gajdusek’s writings and practice of bringing children back from research trips had long fed speculation among colleagues that his interest in pedophilia was more than academic.

Other colleagues and co-workers have said Gajdusek was a father figure and mentor for the children he brought back to live with him.

Gajdusek won the 1976 Nobel Prize in medicine for his work on slow viruses, the type implicated in both AIDS and mad-cow disease.

Gajdusek’s journals, which date to 1960, contain accounts of sexual contact between men and boys that were part of the culture of certain groups in New Guinea, Micronesia and other Polynesian islands.

The journals, published as part of Gajdusek’s official duties as head of the NIH’s Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies, contain observations about child sex that run counter to Western attitudes.

``I would, at this moment, have every youth sleep with his sister, get seduced by his older brother and male teacher, practice with his male and female cousins, aunts, uncles and teacher and maid _ anything! _ only to know sex as fun and frivolity, as rhythm and passionate play _ from an early age _ from the very onset of puberty,″ Gajdusek wrote in a passage from Koror Island dated Sept. 10, 1961.

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