Former UT official charged in child porn case enters plea deal

Former UT official charged in child porn case enters plea deal

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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 entered a plea deal Wednesday, pleading guilty to two charges of child pornography.

Downsbrough pleaded 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 also pleaded 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 were dropped. All items seized on November 15, 2012 must also be forfeited including computers, electronics, photos and drawings of child pornography

Prosecutors say they will recommend a sentence of 121 months, or 10 years, one month. Sentencing is scheduled for March 13, 2014.

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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