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Prosecutors say Roosevelt High School educator was first reported after incident on campus in 2014.

LancasterA former Roosevelt High School teacher is headed to prison for possessing child pornography and duplicating videos depicting sexually explicit content involving children.

Phillip Lancaster, 36, pleaded guilty Tuesday, July 23, to two counts of encouraging child sex abuse, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office announced.

According to prosecutors, Lancaster pleaded guilty as part of a deal and will serve 42 months in prison, followed by five years of probation and three years of post-prison supervision. He will register as a sex offender.

Lancaster previously worked as a teacher at Roosevelt High School in the Portland Public Schools district. He was reported by a student there after an incident in a bathroom in 2014, but wasn't fully investigated or arrested until 2018, records show.

PPS confirmed Wednesday that Lancaster began working for PPS in 2012, and was on paid administrative leave in October 2014. He left the district in January 2015.

According to the D.A.'s Office, a 16-year-old boy reported to a school resource office on campus that Lancaster had tried to use a cell phone to take a photo of the boy in a restroom stall, while Lancaster was in the stall next to the teen.

"The resource officer, who was assigned to the Portland Police Bureau's Youth Services Division, spoke with Lancaster who turned over his phone and gave police consent to search the electronic device," the D.A.'s Office wrote in a news release Tuesday.

But it wasn't until four years later that authorities determined the case needed "additional investigation."

Through a search warrant obtained in August 2018, authorities found "hundreds" of child porn images and videos depicting children ranging in age from 2 to 12 years old, according to prosecutors.

Lancaster received a 13-count indictment for incidents of encouraging child sex abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2014.

"During the search of Mr. Lancaster's phone, police located numerous child pornography files," Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney BJ Park, who prosecuted the case, said in a statement Tuesday. "Mr. Lancaster was trusted by the community to educate our youth. Instead, he made a horrible decision and seemingly attempted to capture a young boy in a state of nudity. This boy had an unequivocal right to privacy while using a school restroom."

Lancaster no longer is a teacher with PPS and his teaching license has since expired.

This story has been updated with new information about Lancaster's work history.


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