Former Northwest school district Trustee Mel Fuller was a member of group that shared nude photos of young people, and he received child porn from a man who claimed to be a pastor, according to an affidavit.
Fuller also admitted to federal agents that he recently downloaded pictures of a family friend’s young daughter from Facebook and planned to abuse her, according to the probable cause affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram on Thursday.
He is the second Northwest school board member under a criminal investigation for a youth-related crime since 2012. Former Trustee Kerry D. Jones was indicted in 2013 by a Denton County grand jury on four counts of improper relationship between an educator and a student. His trial is pending.
Fuller was arrested Tuesday and faces a charge of possession of child pornography, according to Denton County jail records.
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The school district said in a statement released Thursday that Fuller resigned Wednesday.
“The Northwest ISD Board of Trustees and administration are aware of allegations and the arrest on October 31 of Mr. Mel Fuller,” says the statement. “NISD and the Board of Trustees were notified November 1 of Mr. Fuller’s resignation from the school board. The school board plans to discuss options regarding the vacancy, and an update will be provided when a decision has been made.”
Fuller, who had been on the school board since 2008, posted $25,000 bond on the day he was arrested, according to jail records.
Federal agents and police from Trophy Club and Flower Mound executed a search warrant on Fuller’s home in Trophy Club on Aug. 31, according to the affidavit. Fuller, who is married, was home but he was not arrested.
‘Play every other weekend’
The affidavit gave this account of the case:
In December 2016, agents with Homeland Security were alerted by Ontario Provincial police about an internet user with the name PASTOR4YNG1 who later used the name HORNYPASTOR, PASTORONY and PASTORSDAUGHTER666. The user posted images of children he sexually abused that he claimed were from his church and other churches.
In the investigation, agents determined that the pastor had communicated with a user named DAVEBARD in December 2016, and at least two images and one video appeared to be child sexual abuse material.
In April, the investigation showed that the DAVEBARD account was registered to an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org and that person was Mel Fuller, according to the affidavit.
At some point, a federal agent reached out to Fuller through DAVEBARD, and asked him if he had any images or videos he wanted to share. Fuller sent the agent images of a 16-year-old teenage girl in a bikini, saying he was taking her to Mexico on Labor Day and she would perform sex acts on him.
“She and I play every other weekend,” Fuller told the agent. “Everything but _____.”
Fuller also told the agent he was in a group that shares nude photos, but it had closed for anyone else to join.
At the time, Fuller was working for an organization involved in college admission ACT tests and the Texas Education Agency, federal agents said.
During the Aug. 31 search of his home, Fuller admitted he used the DAVEBARD account to receive child pornography.
Hearing is Friday in other case
In the other criminal case involving an ex-Northwest trustee, a hearing Friday is set to determine if Kerry D. Jones goes to trial on Nov. 13 in Denton.
Jones, who is out on $40,000 bail, also was a counselor at Colleyville Heritage High School and a reserve deputy constable in Denton County.
Jones is accused of having sexual encounters with a male student at Jones’ Trophy Club home between April 2010 and March 2011, according to Trophy Club police reports.
Authorities began an investigation into Jones after receiving a complaint in 2012 from a male student who was legally an adult.
The student was 17 at the time of the first encounter, Trophy Club police said.
In August 2012, the student notified state Child Protective Services of the encounters, authorities said. At the time, Jones, the father of three adult sons, was a licensed foster parent caring for an 8-year-old boy. The student told a CPS caseworker that he was concerned Jones might do something inappropriate with the boy.
The boy was moved from Jones’ home and the Trophy Club man is no longer a licensed foster parent, according to CPS records.
CPS subsequently informed Trophy Club police, and an investigation of the student’s complaint began.
The investigation was presented to a Denton County grand jury, which indicted Jones in March 2013.
After the indictment, officials at Colleyville Heritage High School sent letters to parents indicating that police had confirmed that the alleged misconduct did not occur on school property and that no other students related to CHHS were involved.
Colleyville Heritage is in the Grapevine-Colleyville district. Trophy Club is in the Northwest school district.
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Star-Telegram writer Mitch Mitchell contributed to this report.