SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A former Springfield Public Schools employee sent to federal prison for child pornography continued to work in the district for more than three years after attracting the attention of law enforcement.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the district said it was never told of the investigation into — or the arrest, the indictment or the guilty pleas — until after the sentencing.

Carrie Anne Allred, 34, was hired by the district in September 2011. Over a period of nearly five years, she worked in cafeterias at four schools. A year into Allred’s employment, an undercover sting determined that her home computer was used to share images of child pornography. In January 2013, officers executed a search warrant at her home and seized a computer and two hard drives.

Allred was indicted and arrested in June 2016, shortly after her final day working at one of the schools. In March of this year, she pleaded guilty to two felony charges, receiving and distributing child pornography and the sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of producing pornography.

In late August, two weeks into the 2017-18 school year, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri announced, via a news release, that Allred had been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison.

Teresa Bledsoe, director of communications for the 25,000-student district, said that was the day school officials learned of the case. “Prior to the public announcement, we were not aware of any issues with this individual.”

Don Ledford, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, confirmed the August news release was the first time information was made public about the case. Ledford said in a written statement that federal prosecutors are restricted to providing only the information disclosed in the public record.

“We’re not at liberty to discuss the specific details of an investigation,” Ledford wrote. “As a rule, however, I assure you that in the course of any investigation, if there is evidence to indicate a child is at risk or a suspect poses an imminent threat, we take appropriate action.”

Authorities were aware Allred was employed in a public school because it was noted in court documents.

As part of the case, investigators learned Allred recorded her dog performing a sexual act on a 4-year-old girl and discovered a large amount of pornography involving young children. Allred also admitted broadcasting, via webcam, videos of herself engaged in bestiality with her dogs.


Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com