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Brett Howard Cunningham worked at the elementary school in Hillsboro from 2013 to 2020.

COURTESY PHOTO: WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - Brett Howard CunninghamA former teacher at Orenco Elementary School has pleaded guilty in a child pornography case in Washington County Circuit Court.

Brett Howard Cunningham, 41, pleaded guilty to first-degree charges of invasion of personal privacy and encouraging child sexual abuse. A Class A felony charge of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct was dropped as part of the plea agreement, court records show.

Cunningham started working at Orenco Elementary School in the Hillsboro School District as a substitute teacher in the 2013-14 school year. He was hired to teach the second grade in 2014 at Orenco Elementary, shifting to fourth grade after two years and then fifth grade the year after that. He taught kindergarten in the 2019-20 school year.

In his plea, Cunningham acknowledged photographing a child "in a state of nudity," as well as uploading a sexually explicit image of a child to his Google Cloud.

Prosecutors say that among other explicit images of children found on Cunningham's devices, investigators found a photograph he had apparently taken from a concealed position in a restroom at Orenco Elementary of a child's "intimate areas."

"The victim was identified by police and no other students were impacted," the Washington County District Attorney's Office said.

Pamplin Media Group does not identify juvenile victims or victims of alleged sexual offenses as a matter of editorial policy.

In September 2020, Cunningham was arrested and indicted on child pornography-related charges in both Multnomah and Washington counties. He is facing 10 counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in Multnomah County Circuit Court, according to court records.

The Washington County DA's Office said Cunningham has agreed to plead to two of the Multnomah County charges as well.

Cunningham resigned from the Hillsboro School District in lieu of termination after he was arrested in September 2020, a district spokesperson told Pamplin Media Group at the time.

In Washington County, Cunningham's case went to trial this month. On the second day of the trial, which was Wednesday, Jan. 12, he pleaded guilty to the two felony charges of invasion of personal privacy and encouraging child sexual abuse.

Cunningham will face sentencing Feb. 3 before Washington County Circuit Judge Andrew Erwin.

According to the plea document Cunningham filed with the Washington County Circuit Court, the prosecution and the defense agreed on a presumptive sentence of 16 months in state prison followed by 36 months of probation. The two felony charges to which he pleaded guilty in Washington County together carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.


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