Former LaRue principal to be sentenced locally on child porn charges

GOODLETT

Nearly four years to the day he was arrested in his Elizabethtown home on child pornography charges, former LaRue County High School Principal Stephen Kyle Goodlett will be sentenced in Hardin Circuit Court.

Goodlett, who was in his fourth year as principal at LaRue County High School when he was arrested Oct. 13, 2016, has accepted a seven-year plea deal in his state case on 63 felony charges related to child pornography. Formal sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 20 in Circuit Judge Kelly Mark Easton’s courtroom.

The plea agreement is pending approval from Easton.

Goodlett, 40, who also taught at Eliza­beth­town High School before his hiring as an ad­min­i­stra­tor at LaRue County High School in 2012, also was charged in federal court and has been serving a federal sentence since August 2017. He is scheduled to be released April 4, 2025, from the Ashland Federal Correctional Institute in eastern Kentucky.

According to the plea agreement in his state case, prosecutors have “no objections to this sentence running concurrent with the federal sentence that the defendant is currently serving, and would recommend the same, given this case was charged first and both arise out of the same facts and circumstances.”

Goodlett entered a guilty plea remotely on the state charges late last month from his federal prison facility where he is one of 1,080 prisoners,

Assistant Common­wealth’s Attorney Teresa Logs­don is prosecuting the case.

Goodlett initially was indicted in 2016 on 60 counts of pos­session or viewing matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor and three counts of first offense distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.

He was sentenced to two years on each count of first offense distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor and five years on each charge for pos­session or viewing matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor. All charges are to run concurrent to each other and consecutive to each set of charges for a seven-year sentence.

Parole eligibility is 20 percent on the state charges. There is no parole in the federal judicial system.

Goodlett had steadily worked his way up the educational career ladder, going from a teacher and golf coach to assistant principal and high school principal. According to court documents, on Aug. 26, 2016, he uploaded nude photographs of a LaRue County student from her confiscated cellphone and sent them to a website in Russia.

Court documents said in­ves­ti­gators found evidence Good­lett possessed and transported child pornography from 2005 until his 2016 arrest. He would confiscate student cellphones, locate suggestive or nude photos of teenage girls and then save them to thumb drives to be viewed, uploaded and traded on the internet, according to the documents.

He pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of transportation of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

In 2016, he was arrested by Elizabethtown police after a young woman who had attended LaRue County High School learned naked images she had taken when she was 15 had been uploaded to a pornography trading website in Russia. She went to Elizabethtown police, which then sought federal help.

Authorities determined the IP address of the device used to upload images to the website matched an account registered by Goodlett, according to a federal complaint. It added the initial police review of Goodlett’s devices found 60 examples of child pornography. Records show a forensic review found 436 images and 11 videos.

After signing a waiver of his rights and agreeing to a recorded interview with state investigators, Goodlett acknowledged finding the images on confiscated phones, transferring them and sharing them online, authorities said.

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.

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