Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Robert L. Langley Jr., the Putnam County Sheriff, announced the arrest of CHARLES HUSTIS for attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. HUSTIS was arrested today and presented before United States Judge Lisa Margaret Smith.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “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. Our Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners at all levels of government to keep our children safe and stop those who seek to take advantage of them.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “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. If anyone in the community believes their child may have been a victim, we ask for them to call us at 1-800-CALL-FBI.”
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. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department looks forward to continuing our already good working relationship with the FBI and other federal agencies.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint filed today:
Between at least on or about December 8, 2019, and December 16, 2019, HUSTIS, a former teacher and public official in Cold Spring, New York, communicated over Facebook Messenger with a 16-year-old victim (“Victim-1”). During these communications, HUSTIS sent Victim-1 sexual images, including photographs of himself, and attempted to arrange a meeting with Victim-1 with the understanding that HUSTIS and Victim-1 would perform various sexual acts. HUSTIS was arrested by law enforcement officers on December 16, 2019, after he arrived at a meeting location that he had arranged with Victim-1, expecting to bring Victim-1 back to his apartment for sexual activity.
HUSTIS, 36, of Cold Spring, New York, is charged with one count of attempted enticement of a minor, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
The charge in the Complaint is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, and the Cold Spring Police Department.
Mr. Berman stated that the investigation is ongoing. Mr. Berman requests that any individuals with relevant information concerning CHARLES HUSTIS should contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-CALL FBI.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Davison. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas S. Bradley is in charge of the prosecution.