UT official arrested by feds for child porn

UT official arrested by feds for child porn called "exceptional" by supervisor

Posted:
Bruce Downsbrough (Source: Blount County Sheriff's Office) Bruce Downsbrough (Source: Blount County Sheriff's Office)

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A University of Tennessee official was arrested Tuesday on child porn charges.

Bruce Downsbrough, 60, was taken into custody Tuesday morning by federal agents, Knoxville police officers and officials with the U.S. Postal Service. According to officials he was arrested on campus without incident.

Downsbrough has worked for the UT Foundation since 2003 and has the executive vice president and chief operating officer since 2011.

After being arrested Tuesday, he has been placed on administrative leave with pay. According to UT officials, his annual salary is $202,000.

Downsbrough faces four federal child pornography charges.

According to the indictment, on Dec. 4, 2008, on Feb. 8, 2009 and in April of 2012, Downsbrough allegedly downloaded child pornography from out of state.

Count four alleges on Nov. 16, 2012, Downsbrough knowingly possessed a computer disk and material with child pornography. A laptop computer, two external hard drives and 19 digital video disks were seized.

Downsbrough's work computer was confiscated. According to a UT spokesperson, the investigation does not appear to be related in any way to his duties at this time.

In Downsbrough's personnel file he was consistently rated as ‘exceptional' in his performance reviews.

The UT Foundation oversees private contributions to benefit University of Tennessee students and faculty. The proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 was $24.9 million.

Downsbrough is being held as a federal inmate at a Blount County jail. According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Downsbrough was arraigned Tuesday.

He will be back in federal court on June 3 at 1:30 for a detention hearing.

According a university spokesperson, UT and the UT Foundation are cooperating fully with the investigation.


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