School Athletic Trainer Charged With Enticing A Minor And Production Of Child Pornography
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Austin Pratt, 30, of Conesus, NY, was charged by criminal complaint with enticement of a minor and production of child pornography. The charges carry a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on January 12, 2019, the New York State Police were notified by the parents of a teenaged minor girl (the victim) that they found a large amount of text messages on their daughter’s phone from her school athletic trainer, the defendant.
During an interview with the victim, she told investigators that in November 2018, Pratt began texting her. Simple texts regarding an injury the victim suffered led to nude photographs being exchanged between the two using Instagram. Some of the text messages between the defendant and the victim included:
• “I seriously cannot stop thinking about you or wanting you. This is crazy to me for only knowing you for a few weeks and I'm not sure how to navigate these feelings as I'm obviously married and our age difference which plays a huge role in all this. I love talking to you and being around you and all I want is to be with you. I hate the fact that I am 16 years older than you and that we have to hide and be sneaky.”
• “Nothing would happen to you lol. My life would be ruined.” The victim responded, “You get divorce papers and 20 years in jail.” Pratt responded, “Yuppppp... gotta be super sneaky.”
Subsequently, according to the complaint, Pratt and the victim engaged in sexual intercourse on January 7, 2019, at the victim’s home.
Pratt made an initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman and is being held pending a detention hearing on March 14, 2019, at 9:30 a.m.
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eric Laughton, the Rochester Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, and the Livingston County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Gregory J. McCaffrey.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
# # # #