Former Kentucky high school principal Stephen Kyle Goodlett was jailed for nine years for uploading nude pictures from a student’s confiscated mobile phone
Former Kentucky high school principal Stephen Kyle Goodlett Hardin County Detention Center

A former Kentucky high school principal has been jailed for nine years for uploading nude pictures from a student's confiscated mobile phone and trading them on a Russian porn website.

Stephen Kyle Goodlett told the Louisville court before sentencing: "What I've done is morally reprehensible. I deserve to go to prison. I fully accept any punishment you hand down."

Judge David Hale said on Thursday (8 February) that after the teacher completed his prison term he would serve 10 years of supervised release and be registered as a sex offender.

Goodlett pleaded guilty last year to transporting and possessing child pornography.

He still faces more than 60 child porn counts concerning other victims whose phones he confiscated at the school he led.

The veteran teacher was principal of LaRue County High School in Hodgenville, Kentucky, for three years until he was fired after his crimes were uncovered in 2016.

Prosecutors said Goodlett was a respected member of his church and community who was secretly searching the confiscated mobile phones of teenage female students looking for nude photos.

He would upload any he found on thumb drives and trade them over the internet, the court heard.

His scheme unravelled when a former LaRue County student learned that nude pictures of herself that she had taken for her boyfriend were on a Russia porn site. She went to the police who traced the images to an account registered to the principal.

Detectives searched his devices and uncovered 436 images and 11 videos. Police asked students who had mobile phones taken away from them at the school to contact the department.

United States attorney Russell Coleman said after the hearing: "Parents must be able to place their trust in educators to provide a safe learning environment for our kids. Mr Goodlett not only violated this trust but exploited students for his own foul gratification. His significant punishment is well-earned."

At least 10 former students are suing Goodlett and the school district. They claim their rights against unreasonable search and seizure and protection against sexual discrimination in a place of education were violated.

Lawyer Joseph Mattingly, who represents them, said: "[They] have suffered great embarrassment and emotional distress."