A disgraced former Jefferson County educator was sentenced to a lengthy prison term after pleading guilty in a child pornography case. Brett Kirkham received a sentence of 30 years in federal prison. He had pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and enticing a minor. Kirkham served as the school system's human resources director. He had also been the principal of Hueytown Middle School. Prosecutors say Kirkham engaged in sex acts with a student, and encouraged another teenager to molest and sodomize children, and send him the videos. He was also accused of having sex with a student he came to know when he served as principal at Hueytown Middle School. Defense attorney Joel Sogol attributed the behavior to the fact that Kirkham was a trying to hide his homosexuality, out of fears it could harm his career. U.S. District Judge Scott Coogler rejected the defense's plea for a shorter sentence. Comparing Kirkham's behavior to child abuse, the judge said he would have sentenced Kirkham to life, if the law allowed it.
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