A former music teacher at Locust Valley Middle School charged with attempting to have sex with someone who he thought was a 13-year-old boy is being held without bail, according to officials.
Charles Bull, 53, of Sea Cliff, was caught in an FBI sting seeking child predators on the internet, officials and court papers say.
Bull, who had served as a teaching assistant and a replacement teacher for the past two years in the district, was held without bail as a danger to the community at a hearing Thursday in federal court in Central Islip on a charge of using electronic media to have sex with a person under 18 years old, the papers said.
Bull also worked at a School of Rock music school in the past, federal prosecutors said. Officials did not provide details.
Bull, who was not required to enter a plea, faces a mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life if convicted of the charge.
Bull’s attorney, federal public defender Randi Chavis, declined to comment afterward, as did Eastern District Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Rose.
Jessica Novins, a spokesperson for the school district, said in a statement: “The district has been notified by law enforcement authorities of the arrest of Charles Bull for allegedly soliciting online sex with a minor. Bull served as a leave replacement teacher and teacher assistant with the Locust Valley Central School District for two years and will not be hired back. The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. This individual passed all necessary background checks in accordance with New York State Law prior to working with the district.”
On or about Tuesday, the FBI was investigating the use of predators on a chat room named “LongIslandDLMenOnly,” on KIK, a mobile application that bills itself as “the only chat platform built especially for teens," according to the court papers.
An undercover law enforcement officer “posted that he was on vacation with his son and looking for things to do,” the court papers said.
Bull replied with the user name “bullmusik,” and during continuing online conversations, he asked the “father” about his and his “son’s” orientation, and the “son’s” age, the papers said. The undercover officer told Bull that the “son” was 13 years old, the papers continued, and Bull said he was interested in having sex with the “son.”
Bull then met with the “father” at an unidentified Farmingdale coffee shop and was shown a picture ostensibly of the “son,” and later had online chats with both the “father” and "son,” the papers said.
The next day, Bull showed up at an unidentified Melville hotel with the intention of having sex with the 13-year-old, the papers said.
Bull was arrested by agents as he went to the room where the 13-year-old supposedly was, the court papers said. He confessed after being read his Miranda rights, the papers said.
In a written statement, Bull, according to the court, said in part: “I’m not going to lie, I was there to have sex with the 13-year-old boy. I know I was wrong. I can’t hide that and know theres [sic] consequences."