SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – An assistant principal at Nixa Junior High School in Nixa, Missouri, was charged in federal court today with the sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of producing child pornography.
Colby Fronterhouse, 41, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., with one count of producing child pornography. Fronterhouse was employed at the junior high school at the time of the alleged offense.
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) 573-2606.
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.
Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”