DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Former Mesquite educator James Earle Cude was sentenced Thursday to 14 years in federal prison for child exploitation.

Cude, 55, who served as band director at area schools in North Texas for more than a decade, pleaded guilty in August 2019 to receipt of child pornography.

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According to Mesquite ISD, Cude had worked at North Mesquite High School for less than a year when he was arrested in February.

James Earle Cude

Cude admitted he’d used the instant messaging app Kik to download images and videos of the sexual exploitation of minors, including a video of a young boy being raped by an adult man.

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At his sentencing hearing, agents testified Cude used various apps to initiate chats with dozens of underage teens, requesting lewd photos and proposing sexual meetups.

Cude was arrested at a coffee shop, after exchanging explicit messages with an individual he believed was a 13-year-old boy.

Cude’s messages were actually sent to an undercover agent.

He later admitted he’d enticed the boy there for sexual contact.

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