Former Rowan County Teacher Pleads Guilty to Production of Child Pornography
A Morehead, Ky., man, Andrew Zaheri, 40, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, before U.S. District Judge David Bunning, to 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.
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 guilty plea.
The investigation was conducted by FBI and Kentucky State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Roth is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Zaheri is scheduled to appear for sentencing on May 14 in Ashland, Ky. He faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. However, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal sentencing statutes before imposing its sentence.
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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
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