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Federal prosecutors charge Nixa Junior High School assistant principal for possession of child pornography

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 9:57 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 at 11:30 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - School leaders in the Nixa School District suspended an assistant principal at Nixa Junior High after his arrest for suspicion of possession of child pornography.

Greene County deputies arrested Colby Fronterhouse, 41 this week. Federal prosecutors charged him with sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of producing child pornography.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, a Christian County sheriff’s deputy was contacted by a 13-year-old child victim and his father in September 2020. The child victim, identified in court documents as “John Doe,” had been engaging in a series of text messages for approximately a week with Fronterhouse, whom the affidavit says posed as a 14-year-old girl. Fronterhouse, posing as a 14-year-old, allegedly encouraged John Doe to transmit sexually explicit images of himself to Fronterhouse, made specific requests for poses or types of images, and had sexually explicit conversations with John Doe.

Investigators learned that the phone used by Fronterhouse was a burner phone number with a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) account, the affidavit says, but they were able to trace the account to Fronterhouse. Officers executed a search warrant at Fronterhouse’s residence on Tuesday, Jan. 26, and he was arrested. Investigators seized Fronterhouse’s cell phone and found evidence linking his cell phone to the burner account. Investigators confirmed that Fronterhouse had access to the child victim’s cell phone number through school records.

The public’s assistance is being sought in this investigation. Anyone with information regarding additional potential victims is asked to contact Homeland Security Investigations Task Force Officer Joseph Fletcher at (417) 572-2606.

The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Christian County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

The Nixa School District released this statement to KY3 News and to the families of Nixa Junior High School students:

“We learned overnight that Colby Fronterhouse, an assistant principal at Nixa Junior High, was arrested on allegations of possession of child pornography.

We take any inappropriate conduct extremely seriously, so when we found out about these allegations, the district immediately placed Mr. Fronterhouse on administrative leave and will continue to follow board policy and procedure when addressing this situation.

The district will be working with the appropriate authorities as they conduct their investigation and will cooperate fully with anything they need.”

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