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KPD: Former UT Foundation exec has past history of child sex abuse

7:09 PM, Jun 3, 2013   |    comments
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  • Bruce Downsbrough
  • Bruce Downsbrough
 PDF Document: Downsbrough Indictment

(WBIR- Knoxville, Tn.) Details were revealed in court Monday related to charges Bruce Downsbrough, a former UT Foundation executive, faces after being charged with possession of child porn. He was fired last week after being arrested.

During Monday's detention hearing at U.S. District Court, Thomas Evans with the Knox County Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children division says the state has uncovered past sex abuse charges against Downsbrough. He says Downsbrough was accused of sexual assault on at least two children in Colorado in 1986, where the man still has a residence today. That case was deferred then later dismissed.  Evans says Downsbrough was also charged with sexual assault in the third degree. The state does not know the outcome of that case.

Evans also said during the state's seizure of evidence in November 2012, they found somewhere around 20,000 images and videos of child pornography, all organized and categorized. The state said during a conversation between investigators and Downsbrough, he used the images "as a crutch."

Later, defense attorney Phil Lomonaco called George Downsbrough Jr., Bruce's brother. On the stand, the older brother told the court that the two were not close, and would "not contemplate" watching the former COO, if he was released from jail before his trial.

After nearly two hours of testimony, U.S. District Court Judge Clifford Shirley decided Downsbrough is considered a danger and a flight risk -- weighing in on the factors of his past, and the thousands of files of child pornography. He is being held without bond until his next court date, which has yet to be determined.

Downsbrough was the executive vice president and chief operating officer at the UT Foundation. It coordinates private donations that benefit UT students and faculty.

According to Downsbrough's personnel file, he was hired at the UT Foundation in 2003. Records show he has had good reviews, while serving as the assistant vice president. He was promoted to his current position in 2011.

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