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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Former school district employee sentenced to probation

By Tom Holm Lewiston Tribune

A former Lewiston School District employee convicted of secretly recording a 10-year-old girl in his bathroom was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years of probation.

Timothy A. Bynum, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse of a child by soliciting a minor younger than 16 to participate in a sexual act.

Nez Perce County 2nd District Judge Jeff Brudie entered a withheld judgment and placed Bynum on probation with no additional jail time as part of a binding plea agreement. Bynum will be added to the sex offender registry. Brudie also ordered Bynum to pay a $2,500 civil penalty to the victim in this case.

If Bynum successfully completes his probation the charge could be dismissed.

Bynum was an information technology employee for the district, and an investigation determined he did not place cameras in any school facilities. He was convicted of videotaping the girl and multiple other victims inside his home bathroom. Bynum, who had worked for the district from December 2010 to August 2017, was fired from his post at the district once officials learned of the investigation.

The video was not found until law enforcement in Helena, Mont., discovered videos on a hard drive related to a child porn investigation. Bynum reportedly had given a Montana man videos he recorded 10 years ago. Officers in the neighboring state forwarded the information to Lewiston detectives after it was discovered Bynum created the recordings.

Bynum told investigators that recordings began in 2008 and he removed the hidden camera in 2010.

The Montana man, Scott Sperle, reportedly was friends with Bynum and the two shared videos. Sperle also was accused of secretly filming a juvenile girl in his bathroom.

Attorneys jointly entered into the plea agreement and both cited Bynum’s lack of a criminal history – he previously only had a traffic infraction on his record – and his assessed low risk to reoffend as reasons to put him on probation.

Bynum and his family have since moved to Portland. Nez Perce County Chief Deputy Prosecutor April Smith asked Brudie to fully restrict Bynum’s access to any internet-connected devices. Brudie said that would likely be impossible given Bynum’s line of work and the ubiquity of internet usage, but said that he would tell probation officers to monitor his devices.

Bynum apologized several times prior to being sentenced and told Brudie he felt “extreme remorse and regret” for his actions.

“I’ve spent many hours trying to get into the mindset of the victims and understand the loss of security they felt and the invasion of privacy,” he said. “I’ll never fully grasp what that means to them . I hope the family and folks affected by my crimes can rebound quick and recover fully. As pathetic an offering as it is, I want to reiterate that I am sorry for my actions.”

The charge carries a maximum punishment of up to 25 years in prison, and Brudie told Bynum if he violates his probation that prison term becomes an option. Brudie said he would follow the plea agreement but that had the videos been shared on the internet or distributed more widely, the possible punishment would be much greater.

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