published Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Former UT Foundation official admitted Colorado abuse

Bruce Downsbrough
Bruce Downsbrough
Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE — A former University of Tennessee Foundation officer facing child pornography charges had pleaded guilty to molesting two boys in Colorado in the 1980s, according to testimony in federal court on Monday.

Bruce O. Downsbrough was in court in Knoxville on charges that he downloaded or received in the mail 20,000 child pornography images. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that a federal judge is deciding whether he should be jailed pending trial after his indictment last week.

During Monday’s hearing, testimony showed that Downsbrough, 60, pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges in a 1986 case involving two boys ages 10 and 11 in Boulder, Colo.

He was given a two-year deferred sentence in one case, which was eventually dismissed. In the second case, he was sentenced to two years of probation, according to testimony.

A call to Downsbrough’s lawyer was not immediately returned.

Downsbrough’s house in the Knoxville area was searched in November. He remained employed by the UT Foundation during a follow-up investigation. He was terminated from his position as chief operating officer after his indictment.

Records show that Downsbrough, who began his career at UT in 2003, consistently received high marks on his annual evaluations.

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