Former Rowan County Teacher Sentenced for Production of Child Pornography

July 09, 2024

A Morehead, Ky., man, Andrew Zaheri, 40, was sentenced on Monday, by U.S. District Judge David Bunning, to 22 years in prison, for production of child pornography.

According to his plea agreement, in the summer of 2022, Zaheri began a sexual relationship, with a minor student at the high school where he was employed as a teacher. The relationship continued through the school year and included Zaheri engaging in sexual acts with the victim during school hours. Zaheri admitted that, during the course of the relationship, he produced sexually explicit images and videos of the minor victim using his cell phone.

Under federal law, Zaheri must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence. Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for 22 years.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Michael E. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Office; and Col. Phillip J. Burnett, Jr., Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and Kentucky State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Roth is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit