Pastor arrested for receiving pornographic images from 15-year-old

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WHITE PLAINS – A pastor at a religious institution in Queens has been arrested and charged by federal authorities with receiving images of child pornography via text from a 15-year-old minor in Westchester County. It is alleged Francis Hughes, 65, was engaging in sexually explicit communications with the child.

It is alleged that on February 16, Hughes communicated by text with a 15-year-old boy explicitly describing what he wanted to do. He told the victim that he was a part-time college professor and counselor.

“The allegations against Francis Hughes are chilling and frightening to any parent,” said Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss. “A person who, by the nature of his profession, is presumed to be trustworthy allegedly victimized a child. Thanks to the FBI, Hughes now faces a serious federal charge.”

Hughes is charged with one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography, which carries between five and 20 years in prison.

Authorities said there may be more victims of the alleged conduct. Anyone with information to report is asked to contact the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI.