WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES AUGUST 6, 2020 3
Rev. Francis Hughes Photo via St. Pancras Church’s website
Feds: Glendale priest
charged with receipt
and distribution of
BY JACOB KAYE
A Glendale priest was arrested
for allegedly sending sexually
explicit text messages
to a 15-year-old boy in Westchester,
the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York’s offi ce
announced on last week.
Reverend Francis Hughes, a former
priest at St. Pancras Church in
Glendale, was charged with one count
of receipt and distribution of child
pornography aft er receiving three
photos of the 15-year-old’s penis,
Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss
said. Hughes faces up to 20 years in
prison if convicted of the charges.
Hughes and the 15-year-old began
exchanging text messages via the
dating app Grindr, in February 2020,
according to the charges. Knowing
the boy was a minor, Hughes spoke
with the boy about sexually explicit
matters and on three occasions received
photos of the boy’s penis, the
The priest made an attempt to
meet the minor in person, allegedly
texting, “When we meet we can try
to make it a regular thing.” But the
two never met and when the boy told
Hughes his Grindr account had been
suspended, Hughes stopped replying,
according to the feds.
On July 29, the FBI searched Hughes’
Glendale home and interviewed the
priest about his communications
with the minor, the charges said.
Hughes admitted to knowing the
boy was underage and added that it
was not the fi rst time he had engaged
in sexual communications with a minor,
according to the authorities.
The priest said that he’s had at least
one in-person sexual encounter with
a boy he believed to be underage, the
charges state. Hughes added that he
has attempted to meet numerous
other minors in-person to engage in
Hughes was listed on the St. Pancras
Church website’s staff page
during the investigation, according
to the charges. His name and photo
have since been taken down. Hughes
has been with St. Pancras since 2015,
according to the Diocese of Brooklyn
“The pastor was removed from his
post as of July 29, 2020, and a new
temporary parish administrator has
been assigned eff ective immediately,”
the Diocese said in a statement.
A spokesperson for St. Pancras
Church declined to comment.
The investigation into Hughes’ alleged
acts of sexual abuse are ongoing.
Victims are encouraged to contact the
FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
At This Farmstand
Buy fresh, locally-grown
fruits, eggs, honey,
bread, and more.
Most of the businesses in the Myrtle
Avenue Business Improvement District
(BID) are now open ! Go to the BID website
www.ridgewood-ny.com for a listing of all
businesses in the BID and those
participating in the Open Restaurants and
Open Restaurants Plaza Programs.
Follow Us grownyc.org