Former teacher pleads not guilty to child porn -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Former teacher pleads not guilty to child porn

Michael O'Keefe Michael O'Keefe

February 18, 2004

Albany-- Michael O'Keefe faces two federal charges of making, distributing, and selling child pornography on the Internet.

A former math teacher at Lee County High School and Darton College, O'Keefe stood before a Judge Wednesday morning for the first time.

Educators at the school he worked for are shocked by the federal charges. O'Keefe, 37, taught at Lee County High from August 2000 to July 2003. The feds say he was producing child porn and putting it on web sites during that same period.

A federal grand jury indicted him last summer, telling him to stop teaching while facing these charges. Lee County High educators say they were surprised today to learn the reason he resigned last July.

O'Keefe's attorney, Pete Donaldson, admits the child porn was on his computer but says O'Keefe is not guilty. "There are some bad things on his computer, but they are not things that he put there," said Donaldson. "We've been working with some people in California, and I think we will be able to establish that we have a hacker problem here. And it's a problem everyone needs to be afraid of."

"We tried to work with the government, show them how certain things got on his computer, and we've just got a disagreement," said Donaldson.

Michael O'Keefe could face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of a half million dollars if found guilty. He was freed on a $15,000 bond, but ordered to stay off the Internet. His trial is expected to be held in two to four months.

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