Crimetracker: UT Foundation VP faces child porn charges

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) Another blow for the University of Tennessee, as the head of its fundraising arm faces child porn charges.

Bruce Downsbrough is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the University of Tennessee Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that raises money for UT. The UT Foundation is separate from the university.

A federal grand jury found enough evidence to arrest Downsbrough on child pornography charges. In this latest arrest, Downsbrough is charged with three counts of receiving child porn, and one count of possessing child porn. Police confiscated a laptop, two external hard drives and 19 DVDs containing pornographic material.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian says each count of receiving child porn comes with a jail sentence of 5 to 20 years, and possession carries up to 10 years. Downsbrough is looking at more than 15 years behind bars, if not more.

Tiffany Carpenter, the spokesperson for the UT Foundation, says the foundation learned about the investigation Tuesday after he was arrested. She says the university knew about the investigation in November, but was told to keep it quiet by officials. On Tuesday, KPD asked UT to help in the arrest of Downsbrough. Officers arrested him in the UT Conference Center around 9:30am.

He is now on paid administrative leave from the UT Foundation where he's worked for two years. Downsbrough's trial is set for August 6.


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