FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dec. 9, 2013
FORMER RIPLEY POLICE OFFICER SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSE
George Michael Puskas II told police he took pornographic pictures during relationship with a 16-year-old minor
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – George Michael Puskas II, of Ripley, was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release for a child pornography offense, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced. Puskas, a former police officer in Ripley, previously pleaded guilty in July to possession of child pornography. The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. in Charleston.
In March 2010, Puskas, 31, established a sexual relationship with a then 16-year-old minor. At the time of the relationship, Puskas produced images and a video of the minor having sex or performing sex acts. Puskas produced a video of child pornography using a police department-issued digital camera. Puskas also used a cellphone to create images of child pornography. On September 7, 2011, Puskas possessed between 10 and 150 images of child pornography.
Puskas also told police that he maintained a relationship with the minor up until the time the individual turned 18 years old. On September 14, 2011, Puskas sent the individual an image that showed the two of them having sex.
On April 6, 2012, the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a federal search warrant and seized a computer, a flash drive, and other items that Puskas used to produce child pornography. Puskas told police that he produced and possessed images of child pornography.
Puskas, who was an officer with the department at the time he committed the federal felony, resigned from the Ripley Police Department in May 2012.
Upon completion of his prison term, Puskas will be placed on supervised release for 10 years. In addition, he will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Johnston handled the prosecution.
This case was prosecuted as part of U.S. Attorney Goodwin’s ongoing initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse in the Southern District of West Virginia.