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Former principal and teacher sentenced for child porn

A former Hendersonville charter school principal was sentenced to a long prison term Wednesday after admitting to watching child-porn videos produced by one of his teachers.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Chadwick Hamby of Hendersonville will serve more than six years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release for one count of receiving child pornography.

Hamby, 42, who was principal of the Mountain Community School at the time, pleaded guilty last year. He will be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Deborah Lee Tipton, 45, a special education teacher at the school while Hamby was principal, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of possession and one count of transporting child pornography. She received 18 years in prison, lifelong supervised released and must register as a sex offender for 25 years.

Federal sentences carry no chance of parole. Both Hamby and Tipton have been in custody for more than a year.

U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger handed out their sentences in Asheville. According to prosecutors, the judge told Tipton he had never handled a case like hers.

In 2010, prosecutors say, Tipton produced two sexually explicit videos involving a child under the age of 12, then sent them to Hamby over the Internet.

The former principal admitted to watching the videos at least once before deleting them.

The judge told Hamby that his offense caused lasting damage and was especially serious given his role as a school leader.

Gordon: 704-358-5095
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