A former Cassville High School teacher who had accepted a position with Hollister High School for the next school year has been arrested by federal officials on charges of sexually exploiting a minor.
Brandon Lane McCullough, 31, was charged Thursday in U.S. District Court in Springfield. According to court documents, McCullough pretended to be a 15-year-old boy in a chat using the app Kik. He engaged in a conversation with a 14-year-old girl in May 2019 that included her sending him sexually explicit photos.
McCullough then threatened to send those images and videos to the victim’s family and friends unless she provided him with more photos and videos. The girl repeatedly asked McCullough to “leave me alone now” and that she didn’t want to do it but he threatened to “post everything.”
He then made her engage in sex acts with other people and take pictures and videos. The girl told McCullough she was going to kill herself and took half a bottle of pills.
McCullough reportedly also created an account pretending to be a 17-year-old boy that told the girl to give in to the blackmail demands.
Police in New Jersey, where the girl lived at the time, were contacted who then contacted federal agents in Missouri. A search of McCullough’s home found a hard drive with dozens of Kik folders containing chats and images of minors.
McCullough reportedly told investigators that he didn’t know how often had chatted with minors and demanded photos “because he had done it so frequently.”
McCullough is currently being held in the Greene County Jail.