Former elementary school teacher enters Alford plea on sexual exploitation of a minor charge

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Cummings K-8 School teacher took a plea deal after being indicted on one count of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor.

Bragg Lampkin entered an Alford plea in court on Tuesday. This type of plea allows a defendant to acknowledge that the state has enough evidence to get a conviction without admitting guilt.

Lampkin wanted diversion, which allows a crime to be omitted from a person's criminal record.

Judge Chris Craft said he wasn't going to do that since it would give Lampkin the opportunity in the future to land another teaching role.

Instead, Judge Craft sentenced him to 30 days in jail, four years probation and required him to register as a sex offender for at least ten years.

WREG learned police started investigating Lampkin in February when he was teaching science and coaching track at the school.

Lampkin resigned in June 2018. That's when the district notified the state of its investigation.

In February 2019, WREG  uncovered a lengthy file from the state, detailing numerous conversations and written reports from students. According to the documents, more than a dozen people claimed Lampkin constantly talked about sex, and some said he made inappropriate comments, and got a student to masturbate in front of him in his classroom vice versa.

The prosecutor read a letter from one victim's father in court.

"I’m the father of victim in count one. I am writing this letter on my son’s behalf. I’m grieved to be here today in the events of what occurred. Bragg Lampkin, the accused, has caused my son to go to therapy. He is still dealing with issues that he may have to deal with the rest of his life. Bragg is a trusted school teacher who introduced my son to porn, took pictures of him naked, and told him to ejaculate while he watched. Bragg exposed my body parts to my son as well other boys. Judge, I am begging to let this stay on his record. Bragg is a grown man who entered the school system to brainwash children’s minds in order to please his twisted sins. All of the children teased my son. He is struggling with knowing who he is as a person," the letter stated.

At least seven students admitted that Lampkin showed them porn. One wrote, "He repeatedly asked me if I watched porn. Then he started showing porn on his phone."

State prosecutors say in all, 20 students complained.

Lampkin said the students were lying, and sexual reproduction was part of his curriculum.

"Were you trying to be their friend instead of their teacher?," asked his attorney asked in court.

"Uh, kind of a mix of both. Trying to get down on their level enough," Lampkin responded.

We also found out that prior to these allegations, Lampkin had also been investigated by the Memphis Police Department and Child Services back in 2015 when he was accused of touching boys inappropriately. Officers claim they couldn't confirm those allegations.

In 2012, he was suspended three days for inappropriate comments he made to students.

"I don’t think he had any interest in being a teacher again. He did want to move on with his life, and of course this will affect that," said Lampkin's attorney Jeff Lee.

Lampkin was originally charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, but one of the charges were dropped.

WREG asked Shelby County Schools for a statement, but have yet to hear back.

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