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Tuesday 22 November 2011.|
A former elementary school principal in Iowa was sentenced to 30 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to one count of producing child pornography involving students at his school, officials said.
Robert Burke, 43, admitted that as head of the school in Dubuque, Iowa, he had "used hidden cameras in the school bathroom to secretly capture videos depicting the genitals of male students," said the US Justice Department.
Burke also admitted to saving the videos on computer hard drives at his home.
He was uncovered after an FBI agent in Washington downloaded eight images of child pornography that were traced back to Burke's residence, officials said in a statement.
Burke insisted he "not touched any children in a sexual manner," and US officials said they had no evidence that contradicted that claim.
A forensic examination of Burke's computer equipment also "revealed no evidence that Burke shared the videos he produced at the school," according to the statement.
Along with 360 months in prison, Burke was also fined US$25,000.
"As an elementary school principal, Burke was in a position of trust and authority over his students," said US Attorney Stephanie Rose.
"He took advantage of that trust, and he used his position of authority to exploit the children he was supposed to protect."