Former trustee pleaded guilty to child porn charge
The sentencing of Charles E. “Chuck” Hustis III, a former Cold Spring trustee and mayoral candidate who pleaded guilty in November to the attempted receipt of child pornography, has been postponed until March 18.
Hustis, 37, was arrested in December 2019 by FBI agents in the Foodtown parking lot in Cold Spring, where they alleged he was waiting to meet a 16-year-old for sex. According to an investigator’s report, Hustis solicited explicit photos from the teen via Facebook Messenger. His sentencing had been scheduled for Thursday (Feb. 18).
The child pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for a defendant with no prior convictions, although in some circumstances prosecutors can ask for leniency. (Under federal sentencing guidelines, there is no distinction between the attempted or actual receipt of child pornography.) Hustis pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal in which prosecutors dropped a charge of child enticement, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years.
Following his December arrest, Hustis was released on $150,000 bond and placed under house arrest with a monitoring device. The judge allowed Hustis to remain at his home under the same conditions until his sentencing.
Hustis, a 2002 Haldane graduate, served on the Village Board from 2010 to 2014 and ran unsuccessfully for the Haldane school board in 2015. He challenged incumbent Mayor Dave Merandy in 2019.