A former middle school teacher faces up to 20 years in prison after dozens of child porn images were found on his cellphone, authorities say.
Ira New III, of Watkinsville, Georgia, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.
Authorities said the victims were between 12 and 14 years old.
“Possession of child pornography is not a victimless crime,” acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said in a statement. “Child victims are manipulated and harmed each time the images are viewed.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation launched the case in August 2019 after receiving a tip about “approximately 27 images of children at nudist colonies” associated with a Yahoo account belonging to New, who taught eighth grade at Malcolm Bridge Middle School at the time, prosecutors said.
He resigned from his position after reporting himself to school officials for showing photos of a topless woman to his class.
GBI agents questioned New at his home on Sept. 5, 2019, and he agreed to a forensic search of his phone, authorities said. Their sweep found approximately 94 pornographic photos featuring children, including teen girls.
New acknowledged sending the images to himself, prosecutors said, but denied sharing them.
The former teacher could spend the next 20 years behind bars and facesa $1 million fine.
A sentencing date has not been set.