VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A former professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who was convicted on nine counts of sexual misconduct with a child bonded out of jail Tuesday, pending an appeal of his conviction, according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.
Mark Fugler, 61, was convicted in June to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors told the court that Fugler showed pornographic material to a 7-year-old girl and performed lewd acts in front of her.
In a Facebook post, Chitwood expressed his disapproval with the judge’s decision.
“He must be the envy of all sex criminals, able to walk free and enjoy the privileges of release on bond thanks to Judge Hutcheson's decision,” Chitwood wrote. “Most other criminals sentenced to 15 years in prison have to file their appeals from a jail cell.”
It took jurors one hour and 16 minutes to find Fugler guilty on three counts each of lewd and lascivious exhibition and showing obscene materials to a child, according to The Associated Press.
The National Organization for Women also expressed its disapproval of the decision, writing in part, “Instead of keeping this dangerous man behind bars, Senior Judge R. Michael Hutcheson is letting him sleep in his own bed at night. Fugler was freed on bail pending appeal—a process that could take years and potentially allow him to prey on even more victims.”
Fugler was an engineering professor until 2017.
The child's mother learned of the offenses through her diary, AP said.
A representative with the 7th Judicial Circuit Court said a judge cannot comment while an appeal case is pending.
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