Saturday, July 25, 2009
Former Teacher John Puglisi Convicted of Child Porn
A former Newark Valley High School teacher was convicted Friday of federal child pornography charges.
A jury found 30-year-old John Puglisi guilty of producing child pornography, possessing child pornography and persuading, inducing and enticing a minor to engage in sexual conduct.
He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and up to 30 years, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Miroslav Lovric. Senior U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. McAvoy is scheduled to sentence Puglisi at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 23.
Puglisi, a former social studies teacher and the father of two children, was accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to a 16-year-old girl with whom he had a sexual relationship. In the messages, he asked the victim to send "more naked pictures" and take pictures of herself in sexual contexts.
The mostly male jury began deliberations around 2 p.m. Thursday, wrapping up later that afternoon. It returned to court at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning and gave their verdict about an hour later, Lovric said.
"They had a lot of evidence to sift through," he said.
Puglisi also faces state counts of felony third-degree rape and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.
During closing arguments, defense attorney Vincent Accardi told the jury that Puglisi is guilty of a state felony, but didn't commit the federal offenses. Their cell phone communication was only a substitute for their previous sexual relationship, he said.
In testimony, the girl said she didn't consider herself a victim and viewed the relationship as consensual. State law considers