Former teacher accused of possessing child porn hospitalized after ingesting mercury

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LOGAN, Utah -- A former South Ogden junior high teacher charged with having child pornography is in a Logan hospital after police say he drank liquid mercury, and cops said the failed suicide attempt turned into a hazmat situation.

FOX 13 typically doesn't cover suicide attempts, but the allegations against 61-year-old Kenneth Prince appear to be growing.

Officials at Logan Regional Hospital won’t say what condition Prince is in, but police officials said he's most likely quarantined from other patients after drinking a cup of mercury, which is like immediately ingesting seven pounds.

Writhing in pain, Prince called 911 early Thursday morning from a Logan home.

"The complaint was this gentleman calling saying, 'I tried to commit suicide and I need some help now,'" said Chief Gary Jensen of the Logan City Police Department.

Police officials said Prince also cut himself with a knife after leaving a suicide note.

"He had left a note suggesting he had nothing left to live for and made some apologies to family and that kind of thing,” Jensen said. “He didn't want to go to prison for the rest of his life.”

South Ogden Police raided Prince's home in Uintah last week, seizing several computers that allegedly had explicit images of boys.

On Thursday, Weber County prosecutors filed five felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor against Prince. After paramedics transported him to Logan Regional for treatment, Logan police realized they were contaminated with mercury.

"We didn't realize how big of a deal this was until the next morning,” Jensen said. “The health department came out and they started assessing the scene. The officers had been in and around that environment and took that home with them, their boots and their uniforms, and the health department went to each of the officers' personal homes to check for contamination as well as their clothing."

The officers are fine, but it's the latest unsettling twist for a former Boy Scout leader and veteran teacher suspected of crimes that may date back decades. It all began with a man claiming Prince sexually abused him as a juvenile in the early 1980s.

In the last two days, six more adult males have come forward to South Ogden police making similar allegations. Police are now investigating those claims to determine if they'll push for additional charges.

Prince's initial court appearance on the child pornography allegations is scheduled for Wednesday, October 2.