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Clark ATC principal pleads not guilty to child porn

A judge entered a not guilty plea for the principal of the Area Technology Center at George Rogers Clark High School following his arrest on child pornography charges.

Philip Todd Wilson, 54, of 1290 Fulton Drive, was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his home on 15 counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor and another 15 counts of distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.

According to Wilson’s arrest citation, state troopers in Richmond received a complaint Tuesday morning that Wilson possessed “explicit child pornography” and had distributed it to another individual. KSP Detective Austin Brashear said in the citation that he interviewed Wilson and found approximately 15 images, and that he had distributed them within Clark County.

Under state statute, possession involves a person knowing the content of the material, has possession or control of the material and intentionally views it. The law applies to “the deliberate, purposeful, and voluntary viewing of matter depicting sexual conduct by a minor person and not to the accidental or inadvertent viewing of such matter,” according to KRS 531.335.

Distribution involves a person either sending or bringing the material into Kentucky, shows it for profit or offers to distribute the material.

Wednesday morning, Clark District Judge Cole Adams Maier entered an automatic not guilty plea for Wilson, because the charges are all felonies. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 4. Maier appointed a public defender for Wilson, but left his $25,000 cash bond unchanged, including conditions that he have no contact with minor children or any Clark County schools.

News of Wilson’s arrest spread late Tuesday evening across social media, and caught the school district unaware.

“The Clark County Public School System is shocked and dismayed over the recent arrest and allegations concerning the principal of the Area Technology Center, operated by the Kentucky Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Education and housed in our facilities,” a statement from ClarkCounty Public Schools read. “The Clark County Public School System continues to work with law enforcement in the course of their investigation in this matter.

The Clark County Public School System will cooperate with his employer, the Kentucky Department of Education as the situation is addressed to ensure the educational opportunities for students at George Rogers Clark High School are not diminished or affected.

“The Clark County Public School System remains committed to the safety and security of its teachers and students and will continue to provide resources to ensure their well-being. We will continue to strive to provide educational opportunities for our students to prepare them to be college and career ready.”

Each count is a class D felony under Kentucky law with a sentence range of one to five years for a first offense upon conviction.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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