Former Casey teacher sentenced for federal child porn charge

A former Casey County teacher has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal charge of attempting to receive child pornography.

Timothy Ellis, 48, now from Russell County, “admitted to attempting to obtain child pornography between 2010 and April 7, 2013,” according to the announcement of Ellis’ sentencing from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky. Ellis was sentenced to 60 months in prison (there is no parole in the federal system) and 10 years of supervised release after that by U.S. District Judge Greg N. Stivers on July 26, according to the announcement. Ellis will also be required to register in the sex offender system.

“Ellis used a cellular telephone and various social media applications to attempt to receive pornographic materials from a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” according to the announcement.

A federal indictment filed April 12 leveled three charges against Ellis — that he attempted to “persuade, induce and entice (a juvenile) to engage in sexual activity;” that he did so “for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct;” and that he attempted to receive material containing child pornography.

Ellis entered into a plea agreement in May, agreeing to plead guilty to the third charge of attempting to receive child pornography. In exchange, the first two charges were dismissed, according to the plea agreement.

According to news archives, Ellis was a teacher in the Casey County School District before, during and after the timeframe of the charge.

“This is a horrific crime that can shake an entire community, especially when the perpetrator is a trusted teacher,” U.S. Attorney Kuhn stated in the announcement. “Safeguarding our most vulnerable citizens is among the most significant priorities of my office and the Department of Justice.”

The case was part of Project Safe Childhood, “a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse,” according to the announcement.