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Gymnastics coach facing 25 years in prison for child pornography, voyeurism

Brian Townsend, 43  Source:  Kenner Police Dept. Brian Townsend, 43 Source: Kenner Police Dept.

A gymnastics coach, with access to some of the biggest dance studios in Jefferson Parish, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of child pornography and video voyeurism.  The Jefferson Parish DA's office says 43-year-old Brian Townsend secretly made videos of a 9-year-old girl changing her clothes and was later found to have child pornography in his Kenner home.  .

Brian Townsend pleaded guilty March 22 to 10 counts of possession of child pornography and 11 counts of video voyeurism. In addition to prison time, whenever released from custody, Townsend will have register as a sex offender and remain under supervision for the rest of his life.

The Kenner Police Department opened an investigation in July after learning from the Louisiana State Police that Townsend was sharing and downloading child pornography on the internet according to the arrest report.

Kenner and State Police, working with the FBI were able to remotely view videos of prepubescent girls engaging in sexual activity that were on Townsend’s computer. Task force members traced the computer to Townsend’s home on California Avenue in Kenner.

The police searched his home on Oct. 29, when Townsend disclosed he coached children’s gymnastics for about 30 years, according to the arrest report. Among the items police found were 13 videos of a 9-year-old girl whom he secretly recorded with the video camera on his cellular device, which he hid in a room where he sent the child to change her clothing, according to the report.

The crimes happened between 2010 and 2015, according to the bill of information.

Judge Stephen Enright of the 24th Judicial District Court, who accepted the plea arrangement, sentenced Townsend to 25 years for each of the child pornography counts and 10 years for each of the video voyeurism counts.  He ran the sentences concurrently.

At the time of his arrest, Townsend told police he is employed by:

Debby Dillehay Dance Studio, 3745 Florida Avenue, Kenner.

Fusion Performing Arts Center, 8814 Veterans Boulevard, Metairie.

Rhonda Edmunson School of Dance, 5050 W. Esplanade Avenue, Metairie.

Helena Hosch School of Dance, 4631 W. Napoleon Avenue, Suite 1A, Metairie.  

Townsend has been a children's coach for 30 years. He said he never inappropriately touched a child during that time.

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