INDIANA - An Indiana school counselor for at-risk students was arrested for luring teenage boys to his home with drugs and booze to photograph them nude — some with cameras hidden in his bathroom, authorities said.
Darrell Hughes, who worked with New Castle Community Schools about 50 miles east of Indianapolis, faces felony charges that include sexual exploitation of a minor after he was busted in the sickening scheme that targeted his students since at least 2008, authorities said.
“These young men were already facing challenges and difficulties in their own lives,” U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said Monday.
The 55-year-old counselor for troubled teens at Raintree Education Center had taken at least five students to his home, gave them alcohol and drugs — including Ecstasy and marijuana — and took provocative photos of the youths, authorities said.
“It is alleged (Hughes) had them strip nearly naked to take photographs he promised would help launch their modeling careers,” Hogsett told reporters, according to WXIN-TV.
And some of the victims were photographed naked without even knowing, Hogsett said.
“He allowed them to take showers at his home where it’s alleged that he rigged an elaborate system of hidden cameras to capture their every move,” Hogsett said.
Officials with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies began investigating the allegations after one of the victims came forward on Jan. 15
One of the boys told police that he was sexually assaulted by Hughes inside his home, the Star Press reported.
Investigators found hidden cameras in the West Charles St. home and a memory card that had a video of a minor taking a shower in Hughes’ bathroom, authorities said.
Hughes was being held without bond by the U.S. Marshal’s office. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Stephen Fisher, superintendent of New Castle Community School Corp., told WISH-TV that Hughes was suspended from his position as soon as officials were notified of the arrest.
Fisher added that he is working with faculty to speak to parents within the district about the arrest.
Hughe’s neighbors said they were stunned to hear about the bust.
“You just never think something like that’s next door,” Jeremiah Rupel told RTV6. “If I knew it was next door, I wish I could have stopped it earlier.”
By Joe Kemp, The New York Daily News
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.