Chain Gang Elementary seems far-fetched ’til you read the news

A raid on the principal’s house turned up 32,000 images and 12,ooo videos of child pornography. Truth goes totally beyond fiction.

From The Christian Science Monitor:

A former elementary-school principal in Iowa has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after admitting he secretly set up a camera in the boys’ bathroom in his school to produce child pornography.

Robert Burke of Dubuque pleaded guilty in August to one count of producing child pornography. The activities took place at the Sageville Elementary School in Dubuque.

Chief US District Judge Linda Reade rejected a request by Mr. Burke’s lawyer that he receive a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years. The lawyer had argued that Burke cooperated fully with federal agents once his crimes were discovered. He stressed that his client never physically touched a child in a sexual manner.

In addition to the 30-year prison term handed down on Monday, Burke was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and to serve 20 years’ probation upon release from prison. No restitution payments were ordered.

Burke told federal agents that he installed the video camera in January of this year. He was arrested in early June.

Officials were able to identify 59 boys who were photographed while standing at a urinal in the public-school bathroom. A number of other victims could not be identified, according to court documents.

Burke saved the recorded videos from his secret bathroom cam and stored them on computer drives at his home.

His activities were discovered after an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in Washington downloaded eight images of child pornography from an IP address that authorities later traced to Burke’s home computer.

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