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Former Teacher, Elected Official In Area Sentenced For Trying To Set Up Teen Sex Meeting

Charles E. Hustis III, a former public official, and teacher in Putnam County, was sentenced for attempting to use social media to exploit a teenager
Charles E. Hustis III, a former public official, and teacher in Putnam County, was sentenced for attempting to use social media to exploit a teenager Photo Credit: Facebook via Charles E. Hustis III for Mayor

A former elected official and substitute teacher who once unsuccessfully ran for mayor of an area village will spend years behind bars after being sentenced for attempting to entice an underaged former student to engage in sexual activity.

Putnam County resident Charles Hustis III, a former educator and village board member in Cold Spring, has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to the attempted receipt of child pornography from a former student.

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss said that between Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, and Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, Hustis, then age 36, communicated over Facebook Messenger with a 16-year-old minor.

During these communications, Hustis sent his victim sexually explicit photos, attempting to arrange a meeting with the understanding that his teenage victim would perform sexual acts on and with him.

Strauss said that Hustis repeatedly solicited pornographic photos from his victim while arranging a meeting that was intercepted by police investigators.

Hustis was arrested on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, by law enforcement at Foodtown in Cold Spring, where he had arranged to meet the teenager, with the intention of bringing the 16-year-old boy back to his apartment.

In addition to his prison term, Hustis, now age 37, was also sentenced to seven years of supervised release.

Hustis graduated from Haldane High School and worked in that school district for six years before departing in 2016. He reportedly taught his potential victim while serving as a substitute. Hustis previously served on the village's Board of Trustees and lost his mayoral bid in the November 2019 election.

“Charles Hustis used his social media account to persuade a minor victim and former student to meet with him and perform sexual acts,” Strauss said. “In doing so, Charles Hustis repeatedly solicited pornographic pictures from the victim.  

“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,” Strauss added. “Today, he has been sentenced to federal prison.” 

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