Former Lockport Woman Gets 18 Years After Making Porn Film of 11-year-old to Please Pervert Boyfriend
A Niagara County woman, who grew up in Lockport, and obtained an associate's degree from Niagara County Community College and a bachelors degree from SUNY Brockport, found herself in a world of trouble after she left the confines of her home and family.
Deborah Lee Updegrove, after completing studies here, went to Ball State University in Indiana to study physiology and while there met her husband Joel Tipton, an event that would later play a role in ruining her life.
The couple moved to Florida where Debbie worked in sports medicine for 10 years. Then, after starting a family - the couple had two daughters - they moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 2005. Deborah, now 36, found work as a special education and eighth grade math teacher at The Mountain Community School in Henderson.
While teaching there, the charms of her husband faded in comparison to her slightly younger boss, the 34 year old principal of the school, the dashing Chadwick J. Hamby, and she succumbed.
The two engaged in a secret, seven year, illicit, affair.
But in May of 2011, Hamby left his position to work as assistant principal and athletic director at Brevard High School.
With his absence, the relationship fizzled and Debbie was desperate to keep the virile Hamby interested in her.
But Hamby was more interested in different kinds of sex, like bestiality and sex with children. To please him, Debbie moved her extramarital affair into the cyber realm, where the two would engage in long chatroom fantasy conversations talking about the perverse things Chad liked to do.
In time Chad grew bored with Debbie and her talk.
He wanted his pleasures from animals and tiny children.
According to testimony by an FBI special agent, Debbie, eager to keep Chad interested, introduced an 11 year old child into the couple's chatroom talks and, one day, Debbie created pornographic videos of the girl, of the child nude in the shower, exposing her genitals.
And one happy day, Chad received a text message from Debbie saying she had a wonderful surprise for him. He grew interested and requested the videos. Along with the internet transmission of the 2-minute and 6-minute videos, Debbie wrote "enjoy."
Chad admitted to viewing the videos at least once before deleting them.
By luck, her husband, Joel Tipton, found about his wife's affair and shocked by his wife's betrayal and her relationship with the pervert principal, he learned of and told his psychiatrist about the video, who in turn was required to report it to law enforcement.
In February, 2012, Debbie was charged with first degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Chad was charged with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
Debbie, in a plea bargain with the government, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and transporting child porn over the Internet. Prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of production of child porn which could have carried a life sentence.
Chad, always the brave little pervert, pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor and agreed to testify against Debbie if her case went to trial.
Chad Hamby, 42, given a "substantial reduction" in his sentence for assisting law enforcement and testifying against Debbie, was sentenced last Wednesday to four years and three months in prison.
Deborah Lee Updegrove Tipton, 45, was sentenced to 18 years.
District Judge Martin Reidinger told Chad, in somewhat of an understatement, that there was a "certain degree of manipulation" on his part.
"You've wiped out your life," Reidinger said totally on point, adding that old Chadwick still has a chance to start over.
"I'm a lot happier now being caught than I was," that old sneak pervert Chad told the court. "I will be forever sorry."
Wearing an orange-and-white-striped jumpsuit, Debbie's shackles jingled as she entered the courtroom last Wednesday. She stood still as a stone before the judge.
Cortney Escaravage, lead prosecutor for the U.S. government, read graphic transcripts of the videos and said of Debbie, "All she cared about was satisfying her and her lover's sexual needs."
Escaravage added that Debbie denied any knowledge of the crime, denied criminal intent and denied even the content of the videos.
Judge Reidinger said Debbie does not seem to have come to grips with the criminality of her actions.
Debbie's attorney, Jack Stewart Jr., said his client thought the video was deleted and her ex-husband may have hacked into her computer to find it.
"I'm not here to tell you my client is a saint," but she has "led a good life" outside of this act.
Finally Debbie addressed the court.
"I've lost everything," she said, adding she didn't even have a chance to say goodbye to her children when she was arrested.
As a judge, "you think you've seen everything," Reidinger said. "But I have to say this has been a new one for me... I didn't think I'd ever see a case like this."
Both Chad Hamby and Debbie Tipton will be under supervised release for the remainder of their lives. Both will register as a sex offender when they are freed. After their release, both are required to have no contact with children under the age of 18.
As for the child, she is undergoing therapy, Escaravage said.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
SEP 24, 2013