A catholic priest from New York City has been arrested after sharing pornographic material with a 15-year-old boy. Rev Francis Hughes was arrested yesterday morning by the FBI after he allegedly shared sexually explicit text messages and pictures with a teenager from Westchester. The FBI found half a dozen pictures that the priest and the boy exchanged since last February. The FBI also indicated that they connected several times on “Grindr”, a dating app for gay, bi and trans people. The priest asked the teen “How would you like to be spoiled by your grandpa?” and suggested to make the relationship “a regular thing”.
The 65 year old priest told the FBI that he knew that the boy was underage. He also admitted that he previously met a teen boy on school ground in Queens and had sex with him. He also tried multiple times to have sexual relationships with other boys.
Father Francis Hughes was removed from his post of pastor at the St. Pancras Roman Catholic Church in Glendale, Queens.
“We expect adults, especially those in positions of trust like Francis Hughes, to protect our children, not victimize them,” FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said, adding that any other potential victims of Hughes should contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI. “Sadly, these allegations demonstrate there are still predators out there who abuse this trust.”
Francis Hughes was released on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond signed by two co-signers and ordered home detention with electronic monitoring. He is facing between 5 and 20 years in jail if he is convicted.
If convicted, Francis Hughes will join a long list a catholic priests who have been abusing young boys and his victim will be able to sue him and the religious organization he belongs to for sexual abuse. In New York the Child Victim Act allows child victims of sexual abuse to bring a civil claim against their abuser and institutions they are working for until the victim reaches the age of 55 year old. If you or a family member has been the victim of Clergy sexual abuse please do not hesitate to contact us. We understand, having represented many victims, that the pain and trauma resulting from these acts of abuse can last for one’s life.
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