KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Former UT Foundation Executive Bruce Downsbrough will stay behind bars until his August trial. Downsbrough appeared in federal court Monday for a bond hearing, but the judge denied bond saying he was a danger to society and a flight risk.
Downsbrough was fired from the UT Foundation after being charged with three counts of receiving child porn, one count of possessing child porn and one count of facilitation.
Monday on the stand, KPD investigator Tom Evans said Downsbrough told him he molested two underage boys in Colorado back in the 80s and maybe one boy when Downsbrough was 18 years old. Evans said Downsbrough told investigators he had child porn on his computer because he didn't want to molest any more children. In his words, the porn was his "crutch".
Probation Officer April Wilson took the stand and said Downsbrough plead guilty in 1986 in Colorado to sexual assault on a child and received two years deferred sentence. Wilson said he also plead guilty to sexual assault third degree and received two years probation.
Downsbrough's brother George Downsbrough traveled from Pennsylvania to be a character witness. George took the stand and told the judge he and his brother had a cordial relationship, not close but they kept in touch. He said his brother was responsible and would obey the judge's orders if granted bail.
Ann Siddell who lives in Knox County also took the stand on Bruce Dowsbrough's behalf. She knows him through Knoxville Choral Society. She said she would allow Downsbrough to live with her until his trial. She also told the judge she would give up her internet if he moved in.
The judge ruled there was too much danger to young children to let Downsbrough out of jail. He also ruled Downsbrough was a flight risk because he recently applied for a passport and has money to travel.
His court date is set for August 6. Downsbrough was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the UT Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises money for the university.
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