WARDEN - A former Warden City Council member and substitute teacher was sentenced to 10 years in prison for receipt of child pornography.
Michael Leavitt, 54, was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in March to receipt of child porn in U.S. District Court in Spokane. Leavitt’s 10-year sentence will be followed by 10 years of court supervision. Leavitt is also required to pay $3,000 for one of the victims whose picture Leavitt had in his collection.
Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice also required Leavitt to register as a sex officer after completing his federal prison sentence. Rice noted the lives of the child victims depicted in child pornography images will never be the same and Leavitt was not the type of child porn defendant who only acted alone in front of a computer with access to children.
“This case sends a strong message that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners are firmly committed to protecting the public from individuals with a sexual interest in children who receive and collect child pornography,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Harrington. “The United States Attorney’s Office commends the law enforcement officers with the Warden Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation who investigated this case. Their partnership during the investigation resulted in the successful outcome of this case.”
In October 2017, Leavitt used his cellphone to take pictures under the skirt of a 9-year-old girl who was in the class he was substitute teaching at Warden Elementary School, according to court records.
Federal investigators seized a number of digital devices, including iPhones, an iPad and a desktop computer. Searches of the devices uncovered more than 600 images of child pornography dating back to 2009. Leavitt also had a number of images of students at Warden Elementary and other students.
Leavitt admitted to using his iPhone and iPad to search for child pornography on the internet. Investigators say Leavitt had deleted portions of his browsing history that includes several websites popular for trading child porn and searches related to underage girls. Other deleted searches included “how to delete photos from backup” and “is a search warrant required to look at a phone,” according to court records.
Along with serving on the city council and as a substitute teacher, Leavitt was a volunteer firefighter and Boy Scout troop leader, according to court records.