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May 19, 2014
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Breckenridge property owner sentenced to 121 months in child porn case

Bruce Downsbrough, a former chief executive officer for the University of Tennessee Foundation and a Breckenridge property owner, was sentenced Friday, May 16, to 121 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography.

Downsbrough, 61, pleaded guilty in October 2013 in U.S. District Court for the eastern district of Tennessee in Knoxville to receiving and possessing child pornography. He obtained images in the mail and on the Internet, according to court records.

In addition to his 10-year prison sentence, Downsbrough was ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to victims and a $75,000 fine. He’ll also serve 10 years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to records.

The charges against Downsbrough, who owns two lots in the Valley of the Blue subdivision in Breckenridge, according to Summit County Assessor’s Office data, stem from an investigation that began in 2012. In November of that year U.S. Postal Service agent John Bowden and Knoxville Police Department investigator Tom Evans executed a search warrant of Downsbrough’s home, according to court records.

During the search, Department of Justice officials seized more than 20,000 child pornography images and movies the former UT official downloaded from the Internet or received in the mail, according to court records.

During a follow-up interview at his University of Tennessee office, Downsbrough told the investigators he had pleaded guilty in 1986 to molesting two boys in Colorado, according to Evans’ court testimony last year.

Downsbrough pleaded guilty in those two cases to sexual assault on a child and sexual assault in the third degree in Boulder District Court. The victims in both cases were young boys, according to court records.

Downsbrough was granted a two-year deferred sentence in one case, according to court records. He was sentenced to two years probation in the second.

Although Downsbrough was allowed to keep his job during the initial stages of the investigation, he was terminated from his position as University of Tennessee Foundation CEO in May 2013 when a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against him.

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The Summit Daily Updated May 21, 2014 01:10PM Published May 21, 2014 09:30AM Copyright 2014 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.