Richmond Ex-Teacher Pleads Guilty

June 24, 2020 - 3:39 pm

Richmond, VA _  A former Richmond City Public Schools elementary music teacher pleaded guilty Wednessday to producing images of child sexual abuse.

According to court documents, Kellen Thomas Donelson, 32, came to the attention of law enforcement in 2019 for uploading multiple images of child pornography via Snapchat and Kik Messenger. During a court-authorized search of his home and electronic devices in December 2019, law enforcement discovered additional images and videos of child sexual abuse.

According to the statement of facts, Donelson admitted that he produced several images and videos of child pornography using his personal cell phone, including with a victim as young as 4 years old.

Donelson was arrested on Dec. 5, 2019. At the time of his arrest, he was employed as an elementary school music teacher with Richmond City Public Schools and an Associate Minister/Music Director at Mount Hope Baptist Church.

Donelson pleaded guilty to production of child pornography. He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when sentenced on Sept. 28, 2020. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.