Timothy Poteat pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child on July 31, 2018. He was sentenced in December 2018 to a total of 500 months (about 41 years) and ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution to the victim's mother. He will also be placed on lifetime supervised release.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Police arrested a bus driver with Monroe County Community School Corporation this week in connection with a child pornography investigation.
A tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Oct. 11 prompted the investigation. On Tuesday, police seized electronic devices from the Bloomington home of Timothy M. Poteat, 43, including computers, phones, external hard drives and flash drives.
"The national center for missing and exploited children receives information from internet service providers, companies like Google and Facebook, along with reports from the public and elsewhere. What the national center then does, is try to figure out where the investigative authority is for that and then call in those cyber tips," explained Indiana State Police Lt. Chuck Cohen.
Neighbors watched as police searched Poteat's home.
"They came in in a little black SUV. There was 3 of them, and they got out an knocked on the door," said one neighbors.
She says two young kids live there, too. Bloomington Police confirm child protective services was called to the home.
Poteat was arrested on a preliminary charge of child exploitation and taken to the Monroe County Jail, according to Bloomington police. He was released on bond Wednesday night. The Monroe County Prosecutors office placed Poteat on a 72-hour continuance. They will have until Monday to file formal charges.
Poteat is a bus driver for Monroe County School Corporation. The district said he's a driver for Fairview Elementary School. His employment status is currently under review.
The district released a statement about the arrest:
As you know, the safety and security of our children is our first priority. It is with great sadness that we have been made aware of an arrest of a Monroe County Community School Corporation bus driver yesterday evening by the Bloomington Police Department. We are ready to assist the BPD in any way possible. Again, the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority.