A 36-year-old man from Cold Spring, New York, has been arrested and charged for attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. Charles Hustis, a former teacher and public official, was arrested on December 16, 2019, while waiting to pick up a minor at a decided meeting point.
Hustis allegedly used social media to target and coax minor victims into engaging in sexual activity with him. US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, said in a statement, "As alleged, Charles Hustis used his social media account in an attempt to persuade an innocent minor victim to meet with him and perform sexual acts. Sexualizing and preying on minors is unconscionable."
Messages on Facebook messenger led to arrest
According to court records, Hustis corresponded with a 16-year-old victim through Facebook Messenger, probably from December 8, 2019, to and December 16, 2019. The Cold Spring resident sent sexual images, along with his own pictures to the victim. He sought to arrange a meeting with the intention of making it culminate into a sexual encounter. Law enforcement authorities apprehended Hustis at the location where he planned to meet the victim, before taking him to his house to carry out the planned liaison.
The information that Hustis was a former educator prompted law enforcement officers to jump into action with express immediacy. "Predators who use their access to children for their own sexual gratification are a parent's worst fear come true, and their actions can cause detrimental impacts on the victims. I want to thank the agents and detectives who worked this case for the speed with which they acted once they had the information regarding Mr Hustis's position in a school," said FBI Assistant Director William F Sweeney Jr.
Charges and the possible punishment
Hustis is charged with one count of attempted enticement of a minor. It carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison. The Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) has sought from the public any information that they might possess about Hustis' undiscovered offences.
Highlighting the need for inter-agency cooperation to bring such sexual offenders to book, Sheriff Robert L. Langley Jr. said, "This is another example of why all law enforcement agencies should continue to work together at the local and federal levels in order to better serve their communities."
Not the first case of sexual offence against a minor in NY this year
While Hustis has bee apprehended and charged for a sexual offense against a minor, he is not the only education-related professional to be charged in the state of New York this year. Grace Trinidad, 34, a dean of discipline at a charter school in New York City, was charged in October, with rape for engaging in intercourse with a 15-year-old student.
A teacher's aid at Rochester Daycare Facility, Christian Stutes, 23, charged with the enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, and distribution and possession of child pornography involving prepubescent minors, this month.
In October, a 28-year-old teacher from Smithtown, New York, Joseph A. Gallagher, was charged with six offences related to sexual contact with a minor, criminal use of a communication facility, and dissemination of sexually explicit material to a minor.