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Former Missouri high school teacher sentenced to 30 years for sexually exploiting minors — 11 child victims confirmed

Image Source: Greene County Jail

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool sentenced Brandon Lane McCullough, a 31-year-old former high school teacher, to 30 years in federal prison without the possibility of parole. McCullough coerced young children into sending him pornographic images and videos of themselves.

Authorities seized a hard drive from McCullough’s home which contained thousands of explicit photos and videos of children. Police discovered that he had been exploiting minors since November 2018. He was a business teacher at a local Missouri high school when he committed the crimes.

McCullough pleaded guilty in 2021 to three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of coercing and enticing a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity. Police were able to identify 11 underage victims that McCullough blackmailed and tricked into sending explicit images and videos.

After McCullough has completed his sentence, he will be forced to spend the remainder of his life on supervised release. He was also ordered to pay one of his victims $204,199 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore stated, “He victimized 11 children who have been identified, and many more who have not yet been identified, in a horrific sexploitation scheme. He enticed countless child victims to send him explicit images of themselves, then threatened to share those images with their families and friends over social media unless they continued to send him even more explicit images and videos.”

A federal investigation was initiated in 2020 thanks to a New Jersey mother who reported that her 14-year-old daughter was having sexually explicit conversations and sending pornographic images to McCullough through a messaging application. McCullough told the young girl that he was a 15-year-old boy. He threatened to send her explicit pictures and videos to her family if she refused to send more.

Special agent in charge of the Kansas City area for Homeland Security Investigations Katherine Greer stated, “We, alongside our law enforcement partners, are committed to the eradication of sextortion from our communities, but we need the public’s help. HSI asks parents, guardians, teachers, caregivers — anyone who interacts with a child — to be on the lookout for, and report, suspicious online behavior to the proper authorities, regardless of whether the individual is in a position of public trust, like McCullough.”

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