Former Oconee County Teacher Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography

Herman Jones Memorial Forensic Science Complex at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Headquarters in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States

 

An Oconee County resident and former eighth-grade teacher has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.

This, according to a press release that staff for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia published on their website this month.

Ira New, III, 56, of Watkinsville, pleaded guilty to one count possession of child pornography before U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal.

“On August 7, 2019,  the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) received a cyber tip from Yahoo investigators regarding approximately 27 images of children at nudist colonies. Yahoo determined that the account belonged to New, who was an eighth-grade teacher at the time, and the cyber tip was escalated to the GBI. GBI discovered New taught at Malcolm Bridge Middle School in Watkinsville and had recently self-reported to the school administration for displaying an image of a topless female to his class. Subsequently, New resigned from his teaching position at Oconee County Schools and consented to a Professional Standards Commission sanction of reprimand regarding his teaching certificate,” according to the press release.

“On September 5, 2019, the GBI conducted a knock and talk at his home. New consented to allow forensic agents to view his phone, and they found it contained child pornography. A supplemental forensic review revealed New’s phone contained approximately 94 images of child pornography, including images of 12-to 14-year-old girls. When asked when he started to take an interest in children, New responded that it had been in the ‘past couple of years.’ New also stated that he never sent the photographs to anyone, but he emailed the photographs to himself.”

New faces a maximum 20 years of imprisonment followed by at least five years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $1 million. A sentencing date remains unscheduled, according to the press release.

Parole is not available within the federal system.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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