MOORESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – A 19-year-old Ivy Tech student faces multiple charges including child molesting, child solicitation and child exploitation.
Police say Jonathan Fulkerson intimidated an elementary school girl into sending him nude pictures and videos of herself. Police say the relationship between Fulkerson and the victim began in December of last year.
The investigation started after the victim told her mother she had sent nude pictures of herself to Fulkerson. The mother notified the Indiana Department of Child Services. A case worker then sent the case over to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department.
“(Mom) did all the right things, did everything. She moved to protect the interest of her child which is what a parent should do,” said Bob Cline, Morgan County Chief Deputy Prosecutor.
At the time of the investigation, Fulkerson was a part-time employee of the Mooresville Parks Department. He was assigned to the Mooresville Recreation and Youth Program.
According to court documents, Fulkerson worked the before and after school program at North Madison Elementary. In that role he helped students with their homework and/or played organized games and sports with the students. The school district says a background check was completed before Fulkerson started working with the students.
“It is required through our programs that we do a criminal background check for the employees of the before and after school care and this person’s background check did come back clean,” said Susan Haynes, Mooresville Schools Communication Director.
Police say Fulkerson met his victim at North Madison Elementary and began a relationship where he communicated with the girl through social media sites like Snapchat, Instagram and Kik.
“Kik is like a group chat. You can have four to five people talking at one time,” said Moorseville resident Brenda Smalling. “So, it’s like a three way conversation only you are texting, you can send pictures. It’s what the teens call “popular” these days.”
Police say Fulkerson at first “begged” the young victim to send him nude photos of herself. The young girl told police Fulkerson sent her an explicit photo presumably of himself. According to the probable cause affidavit, Fulkerson threatened the young girl saying if she didn’t do what he asked he would report her to school officials for using social media sites she was not supposed to use.
The young girl told police she didn’t want to get in trouble at school so she did what Fulkerson asked. However, the requests for sexually explicit photos escalated to requests for sex videos. Police say Fulkerson sent text messages to the girl describing sex acts that he wanted to perform on her.
The girl told a detective she tried to cut off communication with Fulkerson because she was scared. According to police Fulkerson pulled the girl out of class one day, grabbed her and threatened her by saying, “I swear to God if you tell, I will turn you into the school.”
Court records outline the conversation Fulkerson had with the police investigator. The documents state the teenager was aware “this activity was wrong” and he sometimes “gets urges that he cannot control.” Fulkerson went on to say there are other victims.
Police arrested Fulkerson at his family’s Moorseville home Thursday night. The 19-year old was booked into the Morgan County jail where he faces 8 separate charges. A statement released by the Mooresville Parks and Recreation Department says Fulkerson was fired from his part time job. The school district sent an email to parents explaining what happened.
” I think that’s awful. I feel sorry for the (girl),” said Heather Rodriguez who has two children at North Madison Elementary.
The Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office is asking parents who have concerns or information regarding this investigation to contact the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department at 765-342-5544.