By Peter Aitken
May 22, 2021
Leon B. Hensley, 40, worked as a nurse at North East High School in Clarksville, officials said.
Clarksville police started investigating after receiving a complaint from the state Department of Children Services that Hensley had shared inappropriate text messages with a female minor.
The messages included a picture of a nude adult female and a request for the minor to pose for a photoshoot, the complaint states.
Police seized multiple electronic devices from Hensley’s home, including his phone and a small covert video camera.
Investigators, aided by Homeland Security agents, found more than 700 images allegedly taken by Hensley of female students in a bathroom, either in “various stages of undress” or “utilizing bathroom facilities.”
Investigators determined that the bathroom was a private facility for student use in the nurse’s station at the high school. The photos appear to taken between August 2017 and November 2019, with victims ranging from 12 to 17 years of age.
Police arrested Hensley on Thursday morning at his home in Lake Wales, Florida. He is facing federal charges of attempted production of child pornography.
Hensley also allegedly had inappropriate pictures of women that appeared to be from Tennova Hospital in Clarksville, where he worked before his tenure at the high school.
The school district said in a statement that Hensley was fired in November 2019 “due to a CPD investigation at that time for exploitation of a minor.”
“The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority,” the district said, adding that it is “fully cooperating with CPD as they investigate these heinous crimes.”
The investigation has also been assisted by the Secret Service and the FBI.
Hensley appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Tampa later on Thursday.
The investigation is ongoing, Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee announced.
If convicted, Hensley faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to life in prison.