UT official charged with child porn expected to plead guilty

Former UT official charged in child porn case expected to plead guilty

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Bruce Downsbrough (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office) Bruce Downsbrough (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Former UT official Bruce Downsbrough is expected to plead guilty to child pornography charges Wednesday in court.

According to a plea agreement filed on October 15, Downsbrough will plead guilty to knowingly receiving material containing child pornography which carries a sentence of five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

He's also expected to plead guilty to knowingly possessing child pornography, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

In exchange for the pleas, all remaining counts against Downsbrough would be dropped.

Prosecutors say they will recommend a sentence of 121 months, or 10 years, one month.

A federal search warrant was executed at Downsbrough's home on November 16, 2012. Officers seized his personal computer.

That same day, Downsbrough admitted in a police interview that he searched for pornographic images of young boys online, some of which he saved to his computer's hard drive.

Downsbrough was arrested in May 2013 and subsequently fired from his position as UT Foundation Executive Vice President and COO.

He admitted to molesting children in the past during a hearing in June.


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