NASHVILLE – A criminal complaint unsealed today charged a former Clarksville, Tennessee school nurse with attempted production of child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Leon B. Hensley, 40, formerly of Clarksville and currently living in Lake Whales, Florida, was arrested this morning near his home in Florida. He will make an appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Tampa later today.
According to the criminal complaint, from August 2017 through November 8, 2019, Hensley was employed as a nurse at North East High School (NEHS) in Clarksville. In November 2019, the Clarksville Police Department (CPD) received a referral from the Tennessee Department of Children Services advising that Hensley sent a digital image, via text message, of a nude adult female to a minor female in the Clarksville area. Hensley had been communicating with the minor female via text and asked her to help him with a photo shoot by posing for photos.
During the follow-on investigation by the CPD and a search of his phone, several images were discovered depicting the sexual exploitation of children. During a subsequent search warrant for Hensley’s house, numerous electronic devices were seized, including a small covert video camera. The initial examination of Hensley’s phone lead to the discovery of nude images which were identified as female students at NEHS. Due to the enormous amount of imagery on Hensley’s devices, the United States Secret Service joined the investigation and conducted a more thorough forensic examination of Hensley’s electronic devices. This examination located several imagery files depicting what appeared to be unidentified minor females photographed surreptitiously by a hidden camera while using a restroom. Other imagery files depict unidentified females in hospital examination rooms, pre-operation or post operation rooms, and nude females in tanning beds.
Last month, HSI agents joined the investigation and to date, more than 700 imagery files have been discovered of minor females in a single bathroom in various stages of undress and/or utilizing the bathroom facilities. The images appear to have been taken by a hidden or concealed camera. The camera was positioned in such a manner as to capture or attempt to capture the lewd and lascivious display of the genitalia and positioned in the same location in all of the images. The camera was positioned directly across and in front of the toilet seat, at toilet seat level. Further investigation determined that the bathroom depicted in the images is the private student bathroom in the nurse’s station at NEHS. Other images found geolocate to Tennova Hospital in Clarksville, where Hensley was employed prior to his employment at NEHS.
The investigation is continuing and to date, more than 40 victims are suspected to be students at NEHS and range in age from 12-17.
Hensley faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years, and up to life in prison if convicted.
This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Secret Service; the FBI; and the Clarksville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Monica Morrison and Carrie Daughtrey are prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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Public Affairs Officer