Fuller released on bond

By LauraNalin

Kevin Fuller, associate professor of biology and chair of the Columbia College Council, is free on bond following a Nov. 23 preliminary hearing relating to his Nov. 19 arrest on charges of distributing child pornography via the Internet. U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox released Fuller, 41, after setting a $100,000 signature bond, ordering him to have no contact with children and no use of computers and the Internet.

Fuller’s parents, Kenneth and Bobbie Fuller of Rockmart, Ga., have put up two of their properties to secure his bond which was ordered by Judge Cox to be

posted by Dec. 1.

Fuller is represented by Keith Scherer, a criminal defense attorney who specializes in federal and military prosecutions. Although he said it is too early in the case to discuss strategy, Scherer said he will be assessing all legal defense strategies within the next few months.

“We’re only about 2 percent into this case; these cases can take up to a year,” Scherer said. “It’s tough because in these cases it isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s hard for people to keep an open mind when they read files like this.”

Fuller’s father will act as his son’s legal custodian following the bond. The two will be living in a Chicago residence where Fuller will remain under home detention and will be electronically monitored. Judge Cox urged the two men to contact Fuller’s pre-trial officer before he goes anywhere to ensure that he is not in violation

of any conditions.

Fuller was also ordered to surrender his passport, undergo medical and psychiatric examinations and surrender any firearms he might possess.

Fuller was arrested on Nov. 19 after federal agents, having obtained a warrant, searched his Oak Park home. According to the criminal complaint, filed by Michael Bruns, customs officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, several sexually explicit images of infants and prepubescent children were found stored on Fuller’s computer.

According to the criminal complaint, Fuller reportedly cooperated with law enforcement officials following the search. The search concluded that Fuller has also sent child pornography to other individuals, according to the complaint.

The investigation was prompted by alleged e-mail communications between Fuller and other individuals regarding child molestation. According to the complaint, such communications date back to February 2008. Records show that Fuller checked his e-mail 65 times from his office at Columbia and 144 times from his home between June 29 and July 27, 2009.

A date for Fuller’s arraignment has not yet been set.

Fuller is a faculty member in the Science and Mathematics Department at Columbia and was set to teach two courses for the spring semester, Biology of the Human Immune

System: Health and Disease and Epidemics: History of Disease and Response. College officials said that they will have a substitute take over Fuller’s classes immediately.

The college has taken steps to help faculty and staff cope with a wide range of emotions surrounding Fuller’s arrest. On Nov. 25, a representative from Columbia’s employee assistance program led an open session to help participants understand and manage their reactions to this and other stressful events. The college says it will continue to offer counseling services to faculty and staff who were unable to attend the session.