NewsLocal News


UWM students back from spring break surprised by allegations against faculty member

Posted at 1:00 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 14:00:09-04

For the third time in less than a month, students at UW-Milwaukee see their school's name in headlines for the wrong reasons.

Dennis Tomashek, 54, was arrested on five counts of possession of child pornography. He's listed as a lecturer and researcher on the university's website. This comes after an officer involved shooting last Tuesday on campus and earlier this month when Professor Anthony Azenabor was arrested for multiple counts of sexual assault.

"Pretty shocked honestly," Riley Kopesky, a sophomore said. "Last thing I thought I'd hear this morning."

"I have a daughter of my own," Alyson Underwood, a junior said. "I would definitely not want to be a part of that whole incident at all."

If found guilty, Tomashek faces up to 25 years for each charge.

According to the criminal complaint, when confronted with the reason police were at his home, Tomashek became extremely emotional saying he wanted to die. He also repeatedly told officers he did not physically touch any children.

The three separate incidents only share UWM in common. However, students at the school say these incidents are not indicative of the school they love.

"I would say it's pretty shocking," Ben Bridwell, a senior said. "Definitely not the norm. Especially with news and allegations against professors. I know a number of professors on a personal level and that's not the norm for UWM professors so it's kind of weird."

St. Francis Police say they are investigating with UWM Police to figure out if Tomashek viewed any child pornography while on campus.