NKY elementary school teacher arrested on child porn charge

NKY special ed teacher arrested on child porn charges

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - Covington police arrested an elementary school teacher on child porn charges Wednesday night, according to police documents.

Justin Fussinger, 35, is charged with one felony count possession of matter portraying sexual performance by minor, police said in a news release.

Covington police said their Criminal Investigations Bureau initiated an investigation into possible possession of child pornography.

Responding to a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, investigators obtained a search warrant on May 6 for a residence in the 3900 block Locke Street.

They said they seized multiple items of evidence including computer equipment and cellular devices. Additional search warrants were obtained for those electronic devices.

During the investigation, police say evidence was discovered to suggest Fussinger was involved in the possession of sexually explicit matter involving juveniles.

Detectives interviewed him on Wednesday and arrested him.

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

His teacher page can be found here.

“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.”

School district officials informed families about Fussinger’s arrest in a message they shared with us when we reached out to them for comment:

“Tonight, the Fort Thomas Independent Schools became aware of serious allegations against one of our employees at Woodfill Elementary School. Justin Fussinger, a fifth-grade special education teacher and head freshman baseball coach at Highlands High School. was taken into custody by Covington Police.

The District pledges our unconditional cooperation to support law enforcement authorities in their criminal investigation and has placed the employee on administrative leave. In this kind of situation, our first priority is to determine if any of our students and families have been impacted and provide the appropriate mental and emotional supports for our school community.

We urge you to please come forward and report any concerns. Because of a pending criminal proceeding, the Fort Thomas Independent Schools will have no further comment.”

Fussinger was in and out of the Kenton County jail within hours after his arrest and is scheduled to appear in court June 10.

Covington police arrested Fussinger on a warrant signed by Judge Douglas Grothaus and arrived at the Kenton County Jail at 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to the jail.

Fussinger was released from the jail at 9:30 p.m. after posting his full $2,500 bond that Grothaus had already assigned the case and written on Fussinger’s warrant before he was arrested, jail officials said.

Once Fussinger was arrested and at jail for booking, Grothaus again reviewed the case and decided to leave the bond at $2,500, according to the jail.

The bond amount concerns Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders. He said he plans to look into it Thursday and wants the bond increased.

“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.”

Raw interview: Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders on Fussinger case

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.

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