Teacher got ben­e­fits dur­ing child porn in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - OBITUARIES - BY BRIT­TANY CROCKER USA TODAY NET­WORK – TEN­NESSEE

An ex-Knox County mu­sic teacher who was sen­tenced to 10 years in prison for pos­sess­ing more than 2,000 images de­pict­ing child sex abuse re­tired with ben­e­fits while he was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, ac­cord­ing to his per­son­nel file.

Brian Cor­rie Pat­ton, 65, of Knoxville, pleaded guilty to two counts of sex­ual ex­ploita­tion of a mi­nor last week.

He was placed on paid ad­min­is­tra­tive leave Jan. 27, three days af­ter he was ar­rested.

The Knoxville Po­lice Depart­ment Crimes Against Chil­dren Task Force be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing Pat­ton af­ter he dropped his per­sonal com­puter off at a re­pair shop.

“They saw what they thought might be child pornog­ra­phy on it and alerted us,” said KPD spokesman Dar­rell DeBusk.

Their in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­firmed it. Pat­ton gave po­lice per­mis­sion to search the rest of his elec­tronic de­vices and they turned up more than 2,000 images of child pornog­ra­phy.

On Feb. 2, Pat­ton elected to re­tire with ben­e­fits un­der the Ten­nessee Con­sol­i­dated Re­tire­ment Sys­tem. Fed­eral and state em­ploy­ees can lose those ben­e­fits if they are con­victed of a state or fed­eral crime aris­ing from their em­ploy­ment.

Ten­nessee Depart­ment of Trea­sury spokes­woman Shelli King said the depart­ment did not have rea­son to be­lieve that was the case with Pat­ton and he will not for­feit his ben­e­fits.

Debusk said po­lice were able to con­firm that none of Pat­ton’s images were of Knox County Schools stu­dents, and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion did not lead po­lice to be­lieve there was any rea­son to check Pat­ton’s work iPad, desk­top or lap­top com­put­ers.

Po­lice in­structed Knox County Schools in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy per­son­nel to let them know if they found any images of con­cern dur­ing their own re­view, ac­cord­ing to Debusk.

Pat­ton taught mu­sic at Pleas­ant Ridge El­e­men­tary School and was listed on the Knox County Schools web­site as the 2014 Pre-K through 4th grade Pleas­ant Ridge El­e­men­tary teacher of the year.

Be­fore work­ing at Pleas­ant Ridge, Pat­ton taught at Ful­ton High School and South Doyle Mid­dle School.

Ac­cord­ing to his file, he has a the­o­log­i­cal back­ground and at­tended South­ern Bap­tist The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary, a prom­i­nent sem­i­nary in Ken­tucky.

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