A former Monroe County School District substitute teacher facing 30 years in federal prison on possession of child pornography charges is asking a judge to sentence him to less than half that.
William Britt took a last-minute plea in April, to avoid trial, that calls for a maximum of 30 years followed by eight years' probation, fines of up to $500,000 and registration as a sex offender. He filed court paperwork Thursday asking U.S. District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez to consider a maximum of 12.5 years.
Britt, 56, objected to two paragraphs in the government's report that allege he had inappropriate contact with children.
"Defendant William Britt was employed by the Monroe County School District as a teacher for children with special needs," his objection states. "In this capacity, when the children soiled themselves, defendant William Britt was required to clean the children. He took care of the children throughout the day, he never abused the children, he never acted inappropriately with any child."
Britt also denied an allegation that he "placed a knife to a male student's penis."
"Local law enforcement investigated these allegations, the allegations were unfounded and no (legal) action was taken," court records state.
Britt additionally argued that when that allegation was made, he suffered no formal repercussions -- he was not transferred from the classroom, placed on administrative leave or fired from his job.
For those reasons, wrote Britt's attorney, federal Assistant Public Defender Robert Berube, wrote that the defendant falls into federal sentencing guidelines that call for a range of 10 years to 12.5 years maximum.
Berube also asked Martinez to take Britt's military history into account. Britt is a retired Air Force major who fought meritoriously in three wars -- Grenada, Somalia and Bosnia.
His sentencing had not been scheduled as of Friday.
Britt remains jailed since his arrest on Nov. 8, when sheriff's deputies said they found him with a hard drive full of images of children engaging in sexual acts and a sawed-off 20-gauge shotgun. He was arrested after a fake job interview was set up at Glynn Archer Elementary School, where Britt had taught as a substitute teacher during the current school year.
He was charged with possessing child pornography and an unregistered shotgun.
Britt taught intermittently since 2010 at public schools in Key West, Marathon and Sugarloaf. He had recently moved to Key West from Cudjoe Key, and was living in a trailer parked at the Naval Air Station's Sigsbee Park when he was arrested.
Britt's first teaching job in the Florida Keys was in 2010 at Horace O'Bryant Middle School, where he taught kids with emotional behavior disorders, earning a yearly $44,970 salary.
During the current school year, Britt worked as a substitute teacher for $100 a day at HOB, Sugarloaf, Key West High, Marathon High, Glynn Archer and Gerald Adams elementary schools, according to School District documents.
The pornographic images were described in federal court documents as naked children between the ages of 6 and 8 performing sexual acts.