Leavitt pleads guilty, faces 10 years in federal prison

Faces 10 years in federal prison

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Leavitt

SPOKANE — Former Warden City Council member and substitute teacher Michael Leavitt pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday morning to one count of receipt of child pornography.

According to the terms of a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors, Leavitt faces between eight and 10 years in prison as well as supervised release for 10-20 years afterwards, including registration as a sex offender.

Leavitt, who had been free on bail, was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals until sentencing, which is scheduled for June 12.

Warden Police began investigating Leavitt, who was then substitute teaching at Warden Elementary School, in mid-October, 2019, after a 9-year-old girl in one of his classes said Leavitt “used his cellular telephone to take pictures under (her) skirt,” according to the plea agreement.

The plea agreement says that police found “more than 600 images that meet the federal definition of child pornography” on several iPhones, an iPad, and a desktop computer belonging to Leavitt.

“Defendant also possessed numerous images of students at Warden Elementary and other students,” the plea deal states. “In an interview with law enforcement, (Leavitt) acknowledged that he had taken pictures of students without their knowledge.”

However, Leavitt is pleading guilty to an incident that occurred “on or around March 2, 2009,” when he “knowingly received matters that contained visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct” that had been produced or transported across state or national boundaries, the plea deal says.

Federal prosecutors originally indicted Leavitt on two counts, one of receiving child pornography “on or about” March 2, 2009, and one of possession of child pornography “on or about” March 29, 2018. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed “not to bring other child pornography or obscenity charges based on information” in their possession “at the time of this plea agreement.”

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com

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