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Preschool teacher gets 14 years for producing child porn

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A Virginia man who taught at a Bethesda preschool has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for producing child pornography, officials said.

James "Doug" Manring, 54, of Fredericksburg, pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced Friday in federal court in Alexandria.

Manring taught at a local preschool and gave music lessons at his home from about 2000 until his arrest in 2012. Before that, Manring taught at a preschool in Japan, according to court documents.

From 1996 to 1999, while at the school in Japan, Manring filmed himself performing sexual acts on students who were about five years old. The videos are saved on at least eight DVDs and, in total, show Manring performing sex acts on at least five boys and two girls. Some video segments also show scenes of children playing while naked, court documents stated. When Manring returned to the United States in 1999, he brought the DVDs containing the child pornography he made with him.

Between April 2010 and February 2011, Manring purchased 46 videos for more than $2,000 that were mailed from New York state to his Fredericksburg home and depict naked boys, according to court documents.

Prosecutors asked that Manring receive a sentence of at least 17 1/2 years in prison. In a document filed ahead of Friday's hearing, prosecutors argued that Manring needsto be kept away from children and that other people need to be deterred from committing similar crimes.

"He exploited his position of authority and trust as a teacher to sexually abuse the very young children in his care, and to produce his child pornography videos covertly," prosecutors wrote.

Lawyers for Manring asked that their client receive a 10-year sentence. The defense wrote in a sentencing memo that Manring is "deeply remorseful" and is interested in receiving counseling.

Several people wrote letters in support of Manring, including the defendants' siblings and parents of Manring's former music students.

"In every letter and phone call since his arrest Doug has expressed how heavily his mistakes weigh on his soul," wrote the defendant's younger brother, Michael Manring.

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