OCONEE COUNTY, Ga. — A former Georgia middle school teacher was sentenced to federal prison after he pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.
Ira New, of Oconee County, will serve 37 months in prison, 10 years of supervised release and will have to register for life as a sex offender. There is no parole in the federal system.
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“Ira New was entrusted with the care and safety of middle school students at a time when he was actively victimizing children by possessing pornography of kids in the same age group,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “New—and predators like him—will be held accountable for their crimes against children in the Middle District of Georgia.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it received a tip in August 2019 from Yahoo investigators about an account that had 27 images of children at nudist colonies.
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Yahoo tracked the account to New and alerted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The GBI said New was an eighth-grade teacher at Malcolm Bridge Middle School in Watkinsville but resigned in 2018 after he self-reported displaying an image of a topless female to his class.
On Sept. 5, investigators went to New’s house for a knock and talk. New allowed the agents to look at his phone. They found 94 images of child pornography, including photos of girls aged 12 to 14.
He told the agents he only emailed the photographs to himself and no one else.
“The GBI will continue to work tirelessly to protect innocent victims. No child should be subject to online exploitation. As we work with internet service providers and other law enforcement agency partners, we are ensuring that predators like this defendant are held accountable,” said GBI Director Vic Reynolds.
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