NEW YORK – A priest in Queens has been arrested by the FBI for allegedly sharing sexually explicit text messages and photos with a 15-year-old boy in Westchester County.
Authorities say that Francis Hughes, 65, has been charged with receiving images of child pornography.
During the course of the text exchanges, Hughes told the teen that he was a part-time college professor and a counselor.
“The allegations against Francis Hughes are chilling and frightening to any parent. 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,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.
“We expect adults, especially those in positions of trust like Francis Hughes, to protect our children, not victimize them. Sadly, these allegations demonstrate there are still predators out there who abuse this trust. If you or anyone you know may have been a victim of Rev. Hughes, we are asking you contact us at 1-800-CALL-FBI,” said FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney, Jr.
Hughes had been listed as the pastor of the St. Pancras Roman Catholic Church in Glendale.
The Diocese of Brooklyn said that Hughes has been removed from his post.
If convicted, Hughes faces up 20 years in prison.
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