Woman holding a smartphone

A judge has sentenced a former high school principal from Kentucky to nine years in prison on child pornography charges after the man admitted to seizing students' phones, searching for nude photos, and uploading some images online.

The man is Stephen Kyle Goodlett, 37, a former principal at LaRue County High School (LCHS) in Hodgenville, Kentucky, where he worked from July 2012 to October 2016 —when he was fired after local police started an investigation into charges of disseminating child pornography images depicting high school students.

Goodlett tracked down based on his IP address

According to court documents, Goodlett admitted that while working as the school principal he seized students phones and searched devices for nude and adult-themed images and videos.

When he found sensitive media, Goodlett said he downloaded the images and videos to a USB thumb drive, and he would sometimes upload some of the images on Anon-IB, an image-sharing forum hosted in Russia.

His scheme came to light when one of his former students discovered her images uploaded online. The former student filed a complaint with local law enforcement, who tracked down the photos to Goodlett, based on the IP address he used to upload the images on the site.

Goodlett traded stolen images for more photos

Police searched Goodlett's home in October 2016, where they found 436 images and 11 videos of child pornography on his devices. Goodlett was arrested in December 2016 and formally charged in January 2017. He pleaded guilty in September 2017.

According to a signed plea agreement, Goodlett admitted to being addicted to pornography. He also said he traded the nude images he obtained from students' phones for more photos via the Russian site.

Goodlett waived his right to appeal his sentence. According to an Associated Press reporter present at the sentencing hearing, Goodlett said "What I've done is morally reprehensible. [...] Your honor, I deserve to go to prison."

Goodlett will serve nine years in prison, ten years of supervised release, and must register as a sex offender after his release.

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