New York Priest Received Child Porn from Westchester Teen

July 30, 2020

On Wednesday, Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the FBI announced the arrest of 65-year-old Francis Hughes, a Queens priest, for allegedly receiving images of child pornography via text from a 15-year-old in Westchester County.

“The allegations against Francis Hughes are chilling and frightening to any parent. A person who, by the nature of his profession, is presumed to be trustworthy allegedly victimized a child. Thanks to the FBI, Hughes now faces a serious federal charge," Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.

On Feb. 16, Hughes began texted a 15-year-old boy, officials say. According to the complaint filed in White Plains federal court, during the conversation, the teen sent Hughes three images of the teen's penis.

“Yummmmm I will suck you so much” and “Make you cum," Hughes responded, according to the complaint.

Hughes told the boy he was a part-time college professor and a counselor, officials say.

Officials believe there may be more victims of this alleged conduct. If you have information to report, contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

“We expect adults, especially those in positions of trust like Francis Hughes, to protect our children, not victimize them. Sadly, these allegations demonstrate there are still predators out there who abuse this trust," FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said.

Hughes of Glendale was charged with one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

There’s no denying that ‘Rumours,’ released Feb. 4, 1977, is one of the greatest albums of the ‘70s (or any era, for that matter). The Fleetwood Mac LP contained such classic tracks as “Go Your Own Way,” “Don’t Stop,” “Dreams” and “The Chain.” Still, what made ‘Rumors’ such a quintessential ‘70s release was the circumstances surrounding its creation. Breakups and adultery plagued the group, causing immense tension among the bandmates. Making matters worse was the group’s hard-partying ways, as copious amounts of cocaine were consumed during the album’s recording. These factors aligned perfectly with ‘70s society, which saw a dramatic increase in sexual promiscuity, drug use and divorce.

The cultural relevance of 'Star Wars' is difficult to overstate. The first movie, which hit screens on May 25, 1977, spawned a massive fandom that has lasted for generations. Through sequels, prequels, TV shows, animated series, novels, video games, theme-park attractions and almost every type of merchandising imaginable, ‘Star Wars’ remains arguably the most popular franchise of all time. What made the original film a phenomenon - and also inherently ‘70s - is that it offered a unique and engrossing escape that audiences were yearning for. In the wake of the Vietnam War, Watergate and continual racial conflicts, movie goers were more than happy to visit a galaxy far, far away (and breaking free of real-life problems for a couple of hours). Throw in society’s continued fascination with space exploration and you had a formula ripe for ‘Star Wars’ to take flight.

Billy Joel Breaks Out With 'The Stranger'

It took Billy Joel four years after "Piano Man" to have another hit, but after that he never had to struggle for airplay. Released Sept. 29, 1977, 'The Stranger' spotlighted Joel's knack for combining rock with Tin Pan Alley-style chords and melodies. It resulted in four Top 40 singles, including the No. 3 "Just the Way You Are," which landed him Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. It's since sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. alone.

'Saturday Night Fever' Launches Disco Craze

The sight of John Travolta in a white suit, standing with his hand held high upon a colorful dance floor, is one of the most iconic images of the '70s. Through clothing, dancing and, of course, the music, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ brought disco nightlife to the mainstream. Released in December 1977, the film quickly became a success, earning more than $235 million at the global box office. Meanwhile, its soundtrack, composed largely of tunes by the Bee Gees, became one of the best-selling albums of all time.

Peter Frampton Follows Up Breakthrough With 'I'm in You'

With all due respect to ‘I’m in You’ - which sold more than a million copies and spawned a hit title track - there’s one reason Peter Frampton’s 1977 LP earns inclusion on our list: that album cover. Just look at it. A bare-chested Frampton, with his flowing ‘70s locks, donning shiny metallic purple pants. The shirt looks like a homemade patchwork quilt, compiled with various different types of fabric and lace on the sleeves. No average person, in any era, would be caught dead walking down the street in such an audacious ensemble. And yet, against all rational judgment, here it works. Why? Because he’s Peter Frampton in 1977, that’s why.

Fonzie and 'Happy Days' Jump the Shark

Some pop-culture phrases outlive the pop-culture moments from which they sprung. Exhibit A: "jumping the shark." These days, TV critics use the term as shorthand for a show that took a leap into the generic and irrelevant, exemplified by one cringe-worthy moment that permanently abandoned the show's DNA. The original shark jump was literal: During "Hollywood: Part 3," the Season Five premiere of popular sitcom 'Happy Days,' resident cool guy Arthur Fonzarelli water-skis over a confined shark to prove his own bravery — while wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket.

Pink Floyd's 'Animals' Pig Flies Free

In the gatefold era, album covers were an essential promotional tool — and when people actually bought physical music, record companies had a lot of cash to invest in lavish conceptual photos like the one that adorned Pink Floyd's 'Animals.' Artist Jeffrey Shaw helped design the band's iconic, 40-foot inflatable pig with the design group Hipgnosis, flying it over London's Battersea Power Station to capture the image. On the second day of shooting, a massive wind broke the balloon loose, and the swine soared through the air — glimpsed by airline pilots, leading to canceled flights — before its eventual resting place on a farm in Kent.

Atari 2600 Released

The year 1977 saw the debut of the Atari 2600 video game system. The groundbreaking toy revolutionized home entertainment, introducing a standardized console and with the ability to play multiple games via individual cartridges. Even though the system was initially a luxury item due to its heavy price tag ($199), it became one of the most popular video-game units ever sold, moving more than 30 million units over the course of its lifespan. While its joysticks were something to behold, the system’s most memorable design feature was its distinctive wood paneling. Because everything in the ‘70s needed wood paneling.

Kiss Get Their Own Comic Book

You can't say Kiss didn't make the most of their '70s fame. In addition to touring and recording at a blistering pace, the band put its painted faces on every piece of merchandise possible. In an oh-so-1977 publicity stunt, they even placed vials of their own blood into the ink used for their first-ever comic book, which was released by Marvel on June 30, 1977.

Two Wild and Crazy Guys Debut

On Sept. 24, 1977, the world was introduced to Georg and Yortuk Festrunk, two of the most memorable characters in the history of ‘Saturday Night Live.’ The brothers, played by Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd, were humorous reflections of the sexualized ‘70s, an era that saw a boom in promiscuity, pornography and swinging. As young immigrants from Czechoslovakia, the Festrucks were obsessed with finding “foxes” and their “big American breasts,” yet somehow their continuous advances never led to success with the fairer sex. Still, that didn’t stop these “wild and crazy guys” from trying time and time again, as their distinctive fashion and hilarious catchphrases made the characters pop-culture icons.

Keith Moon Haphazardly Jams With Led Zeppelin

The Who's Keith Moon was already an essential part of the Led Zeppelin story long before 1977 — legend has it one of the drummer's insults inspired the band's name. Then on June 23 of that year, he joined the group onstage at the Forum in Los Angeles, banging around on percussion, briefly sitting behind John Bonham's drums and comically addressing the crowd behind the microphone. Sadly, it was Moon's last U.S. stage appearance before his death in September 1978. On July 24, 1977, just a month after that show, Led Zeppelin played their final show in the country.

'Annie Hall' Takes on Adult Relationships

Released on April 20, 1977, ‘Annie Hall’ marked the greatest romantic comedy of the '70s. The film found Woody Allen at his neurotic best, playing a comedian obsessed with figuring out why his relationship with the titular Annie Hall, played by Diane Keaton, failed. The movie remains one of the best of Allen’s career, the filmmaker having written and directed ‘Annie Hall,’ as well as starring in it. Still, it was Keaton who turned the flick into a cultural marker, her charming and eccentric turn as Annie resonating profoundly with female viewers. Of special note, the character’s clothing, which made fashionable items traditionally thought of as menswear - such as neckties, vests and button-down shirts.

Keith Richards Busted in Toronto

On Feb. 27, 1977, Keith Richards and girlfriend Anita Pallenberg were arrested in Toronto and charged with possession of heroin, with the Rolling Stones guitarist also accused of trafficking due to the large quantity in his baggage. The charge carried the possibility of life in jail, but he plea-bargained to a possession charge, with the judge giving him a year of probation and a one-year suspended sentence. During the legal battle, a young blind woman told the judge of how Richards had taken care of her at Rolling Stones shows, and, as a part of the deal, the Stones were required to play two concerts benefiting the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

‘Three’s Company’ Debuts

One of the most identifiable sitcoms of the '70s, 'Three's Company" debuted in March 1977. Besides helping to make stars of John Ritter, Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt, the show marked one of the first major instances where a television program made homosexuality a central plot point. Ritter’s character, Jack Tripper, had to pretend to be gay in order receive landlord approval to live with two single females housemates. In doing so, ‘Three’s Company’ was able to cleverly convey a changing perspective - the elderly landlord’s “traditional” view toward men living with women vs. the younger characters’ “progressive” outlook toward gay people. That’s not to say that ‘Three’s Company’ was overly enlightened. The show still regularly used gay jokes, where snide comments questioning the masculinity of Tripper were par for the course. Still, the fact that such a character would even make it to television was eye-opening and reflective of the evolving culture in the latter part of the ‘70s.

Rush Bid 'A Farewell to Kings'

Rush reached peak prog with their back-to-back classics 'A Farewell to Kings' and 'Hemispheres.' But the former, which followed their 1976 breakout '2112,' offered a more seamless blend of technicality and melody — from the conceptual sci-fi voyage of "Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage" to the punchy title-track to the sentimental semi-ballad "Closer to the Heart."








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