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Former Madison East teacher accused of secretly recording students to plead guilty

David Kruchten (Source: Dane Co. Sheriff's Office)
David Kruchten (Source: Dane Co. Sheriff's Office)(NBC15)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 9:45 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A former Wisconsin high school teacher accused of secretly videotaping undressed students during field trips in Wisconsin and Minnesota has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Kruchten plans to plead guilty to the charge of attempted production of child pornography. A judge still needs to agree to the plea deal. Kruchten’s plea hearing will be on June 21 over Zoom.

He would face at least six years in prison under the deal filed Thursday.

David M. Kruchten, 38 of Cottage Grove, was arrested on Jan. 30, 2019.

Prosecutors say Kruchten accompanied a field trip to a Minneapolis with students from the high school in December of 2019. In the students’ hotel room in the city, prosecutors allege Kruchten hid three recording devices in a pair of air fresheners sitting on bathroom shelves and a smoke detector placed in the bathroom at shower height and facing the shower, according to a criminal complaint released in February.

The devices were reportedly discovered on Sunday, Dec. 8, when one of the girls pressed a button she thought would spray the room, but instead, the device opened up to reveal the hidden camera.

Kruchten resigned from his position at East High School in February of 2020.

Kruchten pleaded not guilty to the seven initial charges.

He was charged in August of 2020 with seven more felony counts of attempting to produce child pornography using hidden recording devices, bringing the total number of counts of attempting to produce child porn against him to 14, as well as an additional count of transporting minors from Wisconsin to Minnesota with the intent to produce child porn.

Federal prosecutors allege the incidents happened on four days over the span of a year: on Jan. 20, 2019; Oct. 27, 2019; Oct. 29, 2018; and Dec. 6, 2019.

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