Former Brighton teacher sentenced for possession of child pornography

Former teacher sentenced for child porn

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A former Brighton High School physics teacher was sentenced to 3½ years in prison and seven years post-release supervision, after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in November of last year.

Louis Carusone, 45, of Webster, shared a video and images containing child pornography, child rape and sexual abuse in an online peer-to-peer file sharing network on Oct. 10, 2022, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi, who is handling the case. An undercover law enforcement officer downloaded the material, as well as more files containing child porn that were shared from Carusone’s IP address over the next few days.

Investigators recovered more than 2,000 images and video of child pornography.

It was a long, emotional session in court Wednesday morning.

Defense Attorney John Speranza, was pleading on behalf of Carusone to get a second chance at changing his life, while U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi and Judge Elizabeth Wolford said he deserved prison time. Wolford said it was a horrible obsession that ebbed-and-flowed over the course of four years.

Carusone addressed the courtroom himself, often in and out of tears, ahead of his sentencing. He spoke of his wife and ten-year old son, adding he wanted a chance to become a better husband and father.

“Guilty of posession of child pornography. It’s a fact I’ve had to state multiple times over the past year. I understand how bad it is,” said Carusone. “Teaching is a privilege, not a right. And I’ve lost that privilege.”

He talked about his mental health struggles, and shame at what he had done.

He said he, “never enjoyed it,” but admitted it was a problem.

Wolford said this statement couldn’t be true if he had masturbated to the content.

Carusone’s family showed up for support, emotional and also in tears.

Wolford said it’s important to differentiate adult porn from child porn. She described some of the videos to involve victims that were in distress, and harmed for sexual gratification.

While Carusone never touched or came into contact with children, according to his attorney, he admitted to possessing child porn.

He also admitted to secretly filming young girls in public, including in his own classroom. The attorneys addressed this in court on Wednesday as well, saying the videos focused in on young girls’ backsides, often wearing leggings.

Wolford called it an egregious breach of trust.

The maximum penalty was 20 years in prison. But Rossi said the sentencing guidelines ultimately determine what’s best.

“Sentencing is determined by a number of factors, including need for deterrence, the need for sentence to reflect the seriousness of the offense, and protect the community from further harm,” said Rossi. “And the last portion will often include a treatment component as part of supervised release.”

Carusone will receive mental health treatment in prison. After prison, he’ll serve seven years post-release supervision.

“As you heard the judge in court today, the erosion of trust was a theme, today, because of the defendant’s position as a teacher,” said Rossi. “Unfortunately, when someone is in a position to have contact with children, and are convicted and involved in an offense like this, you know that trust is easily eroded and its an unfortunate fact in these types of crimes.”

The post-release supervision will involve heavy surveillance, mental health counseling and limited access to devices, and no access to children who are not biological.

Carusone will also pay $3,000 restitution to two victims.

Speranza said Carusone received treatment in the hospital for severe mental health issues. After Carusone had a lump removed from his neck, he developed a “fixation on death”, which led to severe anxiety attacks and depression. Speranza said Carusone was getting help and using psychotropics to treat this.

Speranza asked for no prison time, and said Carusone’s “life story” was “exemplary”; he had a masters degree, taught physics and was intelligent. He added Carusone has already been punished.

“He is ostracized,” Speranza said in the courtroom. “He can’t vote, he’s been punished. And he’s done.”