Originally Published: July 31, 2007 9:51 p.m.
PRESCOTT - A former Prescott Unified School District teacher faces a mandatory prison term of at least 10 years after admitting Tuesday to viewing child pornography on his personal laptop and trying to access known child pornography sites on his school computer.
David Chauncey, 58, of Prescott, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor under the age of 15, a Class 2 felony, and three counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor under the age of 15, all Class 3 felonies. They are all dangerous crimes against children and Chauncey must serve them consecutively.
Maximum prison terms for a Class 2 felony and Class 3 felonies are 24 and 15 years. Attempted counts are probation eligible, however.
Although Chauncey faces a prison sentence of 69 years, Deputy Yavapai County Attorney Steve Young said he plans to recommend a term of 10 years followed with lifetime probation.
Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Janis Sterling told the defendant that she is likely to adhere to the state's recommendation unless the defendant's statement about his past criminal history turns out to be incorrect. Chauncey told Sterling he has no prior felony or misdemeanor convictions before she accepted his plea.
Chauncey is the second PUSD teacher this year that the court convicted of child pornography charges. He has taught English at Prescott High School for the past three years after retiring as a teacher in California.
The Prescott Police Department started investigating the case after the school district detected suspicious activity on Chauncey's computer.
Detectives retrieved 70,000 images from his school computer and the laptop, PPD Lt. Ken Morley said.
"We take the most prosecutable images," Morley said previously. "We have known victims in some of the images, but nobody from the immediate area."
Chauncey's attorney, Thomas Kelly, who represented former Prescott Mile High Middle School teacher James Lynn Anderson when he pleaded guilty to similar charges, told Sterling that the state would have proved - if the case had gone to trial - that pictures his client viewed involved real children.
Kelly also said the state would have proven through an expert's testimony that the pictures involved children younger than 15.
Chauncey admitted that one picture showed two boys younger than 15 engaged in lewd acts while three other pictures depicted a 10-year-old girl in sexually explicit poses.
Chauncey viewed those images on his laptop and not on his school computer because the district's new installed software had blocked access.
He said that he did not print or transfer any of the images.
Sterling set Chauncey's sentencing at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
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