Former Lexington teacher, Kevin Daniel Lentz pleaded guilty Monday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew Stinnett to the production and possession of child pornography, officials said.
Lentz, 49, was an English teacher at Henry Clay High School and had worked for the district since 2005, Fayette County Public Schools spokesperson Dia Davidson Smith previously told the Herald-Leader. He was placed on leave in August following news of his arrest.
Lentz admitted in his plea agreement that he began an online conversation with the victim on March 19, a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky said.
Within minutes, Lentz sent the victim 85 images or videos of adult pornography, including sexually explicit images and videos of Lentz. Lentz also persuaded the victim to create and send multiple sexually explicit videos and images of himself to Lentz via the internet. Lentz acknowledged that, at the time, he knew the victim was a minor.
The Herald-Leader has previously reported that the victim in the case is a 9-year-old boy from New Hampshire, according to federal court documents. When the victim’s parent discovered the conversation, they sent a message to Lentz saying “This is a 9 year old’s phone. I am going to the police.”
A search warrant was executed at Lentz’s home in Lexington on August 8. The search resulted in the seizure of numerous electronic devices, including a computer, a cell phone and multiple hard drives. A search of those devices revealed several hundred additional images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct that Lentz obtained from the internet, the news release said.
The investigation was conducted by federal authorities and the Lexington Police Department.
Lentz is scheduled to be sentenced on a date yet to be determined. He faces 15-30 years in prison for production of child pornography and a maximum sentence of 20 years for possession of child pornography.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
State charges are still pending.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Herald-Leader reporter Beth Musgrave contributed to this article.