NKY prosecutor at odds with judge after man charged with child porn bonds out of jail

NKY elementary school teacher arrested on child porn charge

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - Covington police arrested an elementary school teacher on child porn charges Wednesday evening. By nightfall, he was already out of jail, prompting concerns from the community as well as those at the top of the legal system.

Justin Fussinger, 35, is charged with one felony count possession of matter portraying sexual performance by minor, police say.

Fort Thomas Independent Schools confirmed Wednesday Fussinger is a special education teacher at Samuel Woodfill Elementary.

“Every defendant accessing child pornography is cause for concern,” Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said. “But one with direct access to children is extremely alarming.”

Fussinger was in booked in Kenton County Jail at 6 p.m., according to jail records. He was released at 9:30 after posting his full $2,500 bond, which had been assigned by Judge Douglas Grothaus prior to his arrest.

Grothaus reviewed Fussinger’s case after his arrest and decided against changing his bond, according to the jail.

The bond amount concerns Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders.

Sanders said Tuesday he wants the bond increased, in the process drawing a stark contrast between Fussinger’s case and those of non-violent offenders to whom judges have assigned low bonds to reduce jail crowding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The bond is not consistent with the bonds set in other cases with similar charges,” Sanders said. “While some low-level, non-violent offenders have been released due to COVID-19, crimes against children don’t qualify as low-level or non-violent.”

Sanders later elaborated: “His release had nothing to do with keeping the jail population down. That is a separate subject with non-violent offenders. Someone that preys upon a child or has child pornography is not someone I would consider a non-violent offender.

"I do not want to betray the public’s trust when it comes to reducing the jail population when it comes to COVID. This is a simple disagreement between a judge and a prosecutor on an approbate bond.”

Raw interview: Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders on Fussinger case

Fussinger is due back in court June 10.

Anyone who suspects their child could be a victim should call Covington police at (859) 356-3191 or the NKY Children’s Advocacy Center at (859) 442-3200.

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.