Fuller pleads not guilty

By LauraNalin

A Columbia faculty member of the Science and Math Department pleaded not guilty to federal charges of transporting child pornography.

Kevin Fuller, 41, was indicted by a grand jury on Jan. 12 and charged with two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Fuller was arraigned on Jan. 22, when he pleaded not guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo. Castillo set a date for future court proceedings, scheduled for March 24.

As reported by The Chronicle on Nov. 20, Fuller was arrested on Nov. 19 after federal agents obtained a warrant to search his Oak Park residence. The preliminary review of Fuller’s personal computer allegedly displayed images of prepubescent children and infants being sexually exploited. Fuller’s charges state that between June 29 and July 27, he accessed a Google e-mail account registered to his name 144 times, as well as 65 times from an IP address connected to Columbia.

Fuller exchanged 40 e-mails with another individual within a three-day span from Sept. 26 through Sept. 29, in which they discussed sexually molesting an infant. Two additional instances reportedly took place involving discussions of child molestation in October, according to the court complaint.

On Oct. 17, Fuller and an individual allegedly discussed sexually molesting a young boy, and on Oct. 25 alone, Fuller exchanged more than 25 e-mails with the individual, talking about engaging in sexual activities with a mother and her child. According to the complaint, Fuller had been involved in similar e-mails dating back to February 2008.

Fuller reportedly cooperated with law enforcement officials immediately following the search and allegedly stated that he used the e-mail address for the past two years, “including receiving and distributing images of children engaged in sexually explicit activity.”

Fuller was released on a $100,000 signature bond on Nov. 23 by U.S. Magistrate Susan Cox in which he was ordered to live with his father Kenneth on home detention, where he was arranged to be electronically monitored and prohibited from having contact with children. He was also ordered to refrain from the use of computers and the Internet.

Fuller has been an employee of Columbia since 2003. He is a graduate of Duke University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in biology. He received a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and cell biology from University of Chicago. Fuller also held a post-doctoral fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where he researched multiple sclerosis.

Fuller’s lawyer, Keith Scherer, could not be reached for comment. The college administration refused to comment on the situation.