Florida teacher sentenced to 20 years for having sexual relations with 13-year-old student

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TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Nicholas Hughes, 34, of Tallahassee, was sentenced to 240 months in prison for enticement of a minor, production, and possession of child pornography, after being convicted on January 4 following a two-day trial.

During the 2016-2017 school year, the mother of a 13-year-old student reported that her child had told her about various sexual encounters with Hughes, a music teacher at Coast Charter School in St. Marks, Florida. Hughes and the victim communicated through in-person visits, telephone calls, text messages, and social media applications, including sending pornographic pictures. A forensic review of Hughes’s laptop computer and external hard drive revealed dozens of images and videos of child pornography.

During the 2016-2017 school year, the mother of a 13-year-old student reported that her child had told her about various sexual encounters with Hughes, a music teacher at Coast Charter School in St. Marks, Florida. Hughes and the victim communicated through in-person visits, telephone calls, text messages, and social media applications, including sending pornographic pictures. A forensic review of Hughes’s laptop computer and external hard drive revealed dozens of images and videos of child pornography.

U.S. Attorney Keefe said: “Children see their teachers as role models and mentors, and in this tragic case, the defendant took advantage of that trust. Together with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, we will pursue child predators and bring them to justice.”

“This predator was in a position of trust and abused that trust in the worst way possible,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “All child exploitation is reprehensible, but this case is even more egregious having been committed by someone trusted by children and parents.”

FDLE Tallahassee Regional Operations Center Special Agent in Charge Mark Perez said: “Florida’s families should be able to feel confident that their children are safe at school. The violation of that trust here is despicable and has no place in our community.”

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