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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Former Teacher Sentenced to 10 Years for Child Pornography Offense

Paducah, KY – A former Lyon County Middle School teacher was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for attempting to possess child pornography, announced Michael A. Bennett, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.  There is no parole in the federal system.

According to court documents, Michael Derek McCuiston, 36, of Murray, Kentucky, surreptitiously recorded bathroom video of two children, both of whom had not attained the age of 18.  In April 2019, after receiving information about this crime, officers served a search warrant at McCuiston’s home.  McCuiston was arrested and later admitted that he placed a hidden camera in an attempt to capture child pornography. 

“Parents deserve to know that teachers will act in the best interest of their children and provide them with a safe and secure learning environment,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Bennett.  “The defendant forfeited forever the special trust and confidence placed in him as an educator and will now spend the next ten years in a federal prison.  I commend the FBI’s Louisville Field Office, Kentucky State Police, and the prosecutors assigned to the case for their work in identifying and removing this threat from our community.”         

“The secret recording of children in a bathroom, in an attempt to capture child pornography, is a horrendous crime - made worse because of the defendant’s position of trust as a teacher and a coach,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office.  “Today’s sentence does not erase the defendant’s deplorable actions, but it is a stern punishment that will help to protect some of society’s most vulnerable victims and show our commitment to holding sexual predators accountable.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Kentucky State Police investigated the case. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Madison Sewell and Raymond McGee prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.  For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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Updated November 3, 2021