KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A now-former assistant football coach at Heritage High School has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender after he was arrested last year in an undercover operation targeting child predators.
John David Morrow was arrested in December by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was accused of having “knowingly transferred obscene material to a minor, attempted production of child pornography and attempted enticement of a minor.”
As a part of a plea agreement, Morrow pleaded guilty to attempted production of child pornography was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by a term of supervised release.
Court documents state some factors warranted the 180-month sentence, “in this case it is important to consider the nature and circumstances of the offense as well as the history and characteristics of the defendant.”
Court documents detailed how Morrow began communicating with an undercover FBI agent whom he thought was a 12-year-old girl on the social media app Kik.
“He began interacting with who he believed was a minor female who identified herself as a 12-year-old,” federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “He sent images of himself to the undercover agent and requested explicit photos of them. Morrow also shared details about himself, saying he was a teacher.
“Proud of his teaching abilities, the defendant next sends two videos of himself and a woman having sexual intercourse instructing whom he believed to be a 12-year-old girl to watch and learn…” court documents state.
“The most abhorrent part of this defendant’s crimes is that this defendant was a high school teacher and football coach,” prosecutors said. “This man was given a position of trust with the students at Heritage High School. Who better to know that children just entering high school are naïve, vulnerable, yet wanting to appear sophisticated especially on the topic of sex?”
Morrow resigned from his position at Heritage High School on Dec. 2, a Blount County Schools spokesperson said in a statement.