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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grand Coulee school official pleads not guilty to child pornography charge

A Grand Coulee, Washington, elementary school administrator accused of exchanging sexually explicit photos with a Wisconsin teenager pleaded not guilty to a federal indictment Monday.

Nate Piturachsatit, 37, is charged with a single count of producing child pornography. If found guilty, Piturachsatit faces a minimum 15-year sentence in federal prison and would be required to register as a sex offender.

The Lake Roosevelt Elementary School assistant principal was taken into custody in February on state charges. The indictment, handed down last week, charges Piturachsatit with soliciting the Wisconsin 14-year-old to send explicit images by phone across state lines.

Piturachsatit appeared in a white dress shirt and slacks Monday afternoon. He was led from the courtroom in leg chains and handcuffs, and is in custody at the Spokane County Jail. U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Rodgers set a bail hearing for Wednesday.

The mother of the alleged victim contacted police in Wisconsin after a package from Piturachsatit containing a T-shirt arrived in the mail in January. The package contained a return address in Spokane, court records say.

The alleged victim told police she’d been communicating with the package sender since November via Instagram, according to court records.

Grand Coulee Dam School District Superintendent Dennis Carlson said Monday that Piturachsatit remains on paid leave from the district, pending an outcome of the criminal case.

Piturachsatit was scheduled to stand trial on the state charges in Okanogan County last month before federal authorities intervened.

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