A former Village of Cold Spring trustee was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for attempted receipt of child pornography from a former student when he was a substitute teacher.
Charles Hustis, 37, of Cold Spring, was also sentenced to seven years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel. On November 19, 2020, pled guilty to one count of the charge.
“Charles Hustis used his social media account to persuade a minor victim and former student to meet with him and perform sexual acts. In doing so, Charles Hustis repeatedly solicited pornographic pictures from the victim,” stated Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “This predatory behavior was a betrayal of the trust that the Cold Spring community placed in Charles Hustis, both as a former teacher and as a public official. Our Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners at all levels of government to keep our children safe.”
According to court filings and statements made during proceedings, between December 8 and December 16, 2019, Hustis communicated over Facebook Messenger with a 16-year-old victim. During these communications, Hustis sent sexual images, including photographs of himself, and attempted to arrange a meeting with the understanding that he and the victim would perform various sexual acts.
Hustis repeatedly solicited pornographic pictures from the victim while arranging his planned meeting. He was arrested by law enforcement officers on December 16, 2019, after he arrived at a meeting location that he had arranged with the victim, expecting to bring the victim back to his apartment for sexual activity.
Strauss praised the investigative work of the FBI, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, and the Cold Spring Police Department in the case. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas S. Bradley was in charge of the prosecution.