Ex-Timberlane teacher denied early release from prison
BRENTWOOD — An ex-Timberlane middle school teacher convicted of possessing child pornography will not be getting out of state prison early, according to a court order.
A judge denied a request by Scott Buatti, 48, to suspend the remaining seven months of a state prison sentence after spending roughly a year and a half behind bars.
Buatti petitioned Judge Kenneth McHugh for an early release, saying that his sentence would go beyond his two year minimum if he was required to undergo sex offender treatment at the prison.
Buatti is serving a 2-to-4 year state prison sentence. A jury convicted him of 10 counts of possession of child pornography in April 2011.
Assistant County Attorney Jerome Blanchard objected to McHugh becoming involved in the decision, saying such matters were typically left to the state Department of Corrections.
McHugh decided he will only recommend to the corrections department that Buatti undertake sexual offender program after he is paroled from his two-year sentence.
“Given that the defendant’s prison record is spotless, the court anticipates that the Department of Corrections will take that fact into consideration with respect to the court’s recommendation,” McHugh said in an order.
Buatti began serving his sentence in December 2012 after losing an appeal before the State Supreme Court.
Buatti taught gym class at Timberlane Middle School for 19 years until his 2009 indictment prompted his resignation.
He was first approached by Immigrations Customs Enforcement agents at his home on Feb. 25, 2008, after a federal investigation tracked down 5,000 subscribers in the U.S. to child pornography websites.
ICE agents testified that Buatti was identified in their investigation after he paid $79.95 to subscribe to web sites and used his home email address with his subscription.
At trial, Buatti denied ever viewing child pornography. But ICE agents testified that Buatti acknowledged during an interview that he had looked and kept images of girls as young as 8 or 9 years old on his computer.