United States Attorney's Office
Northern District of Iowa
United States Attorney Stephanie M. Rose
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2011
Elementary School Principal Charged with Receiving Child Pornography
Principal Claims to Have Secretly Video Recorded Students in the Bathroom
Robert Burke, age 43, from Dubuque, Iowa, has been charged with one count of receipt of child pornography. The charge is contained in a Complaint filed today in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids.
The Complaint alleges that, between about January and June 2011, Burke used a computer and the Internet to receive images of child pornography. The Complaint alleges that, on April 10, 2011, an FBI agent in Washington D.C., downloaded eight depictions of child pornography from a computer that was later traced to Burke's residence.
The Complaint also alleges that Burke is the principal at Sageville Elementary School in Dubuque County. The Complaint further alleges that, during an interview on June 3, 2011, Burke stated he had placed a hidden video camera in a boys' bathroom at this school, and the camera had produced video images of students who were using the bathroom. Burke allegedly stated he had not touched any children in a sexual manner. The Complaint alleges law enforcement agents have not had the opportunity to perform a forensic examination of Burke's computer and other electronic evidence seized on June 3, 2011, and the government does not, at this time, have evidence to contradict Burke's statement that he had not touched any children in a sexual manner.
United States Attorney Stephanie M. Rose urged parents and anyone with concerns or information regarding this investigation to call the United States Attorney's Office at (319) 363-6333. Callers should ask to speak with Victim-Witness Coordinator Shari Konarske.
If convicted, Burke faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years' imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a $200 special assessment, and supervised release following any imprisonment for at least 5 years and up to life.
Burke's first appearance in federal court in Cedar Rapids for an initial appearance is set for today at 4:00 p.m.
As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Iowa Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office.