A local middle school teacher pleaded guilty in court on Thursday to charges of possession of child pornography, the office of U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy confirmed.
Bell Middle School teacher Timothy Hensley, 39, was arrested back on Jan. 15 after ICE agents searched his North Park apartment and said they found pornographic images of children on computer disks inside his home.
According to court documents, the disks contained images and videos of minors as young as 5-year-old engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
At the time of his arrest, Hensley had been working as an 8th grade science teacher at Bell Middle School. He had been employed there since August 2005 and had also been named the 2009-2010 “Teacher of the Year.”
Hensley was placed on administrative leave from Bell Middle School following his arrest. About a week later, officials said Hensley tried to kill himself in his downtown jail cell.
He was found by his cellmate and transported to a hospital, where he later recovered.
On Thursday, four months after his arrest, Hensley pleaded guilty in federal court to a five-count indictment charging him with the receipt and possession of child porn.
Hensley admitted to receiving sexually explicit images of a 10-year-old girl. He also confessed to possessing a computer and disks containing images of minors – many of them prepubescent -- engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The former teacher is now scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on Aug. 12.
He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison to 20 years per count, a $250,000 fine and a minimum of five years up to a lifetime of supervised release, if convicted. Hensley must also register as a sex offender.